Wednesday, March 31, 2010

journey of faith: day seven recap

inspiration: less than 24 hours until i get my tattoo :)

blessings:

  • got a 91 on my Oracle test! :)

  • still making progress on my systems analysis stuff; i estimate i'm about a third of the way done with what i am responsible for

  • today, i got a lot of the financial aid's visitor log system working :) that's very exciting

  • i have an interview, hopefully, tomorrow for a job in the computer science department

  • i've studied for my systems analysis quiz. hoping i do well on it tomorrow.

  • outlined my expenses...now i need to get jobs to cover those expenses =P

  • beautiful weather. and it's supposed to get up to 80 tomorrow! woot woot!

  • reconnecting with an old friend



today was, yet another, awesome day!
i have so many blessings and wonderful things to praise God for...like all those things above, plus so many more!

i'm still trying to place and keep my hope in God. it's so easy for me to place my hope in a person and to get my hopes up and to get let down. i'm trying to avoid those situations, especially when it comes to relationships, because i know that God will place whoever he wants me to be with on His timetable.

i'm still incredibly anxious about relationships, but i know that the right person will come into my life when he is meant to. it's hard to be patient with such an impatient and longing heart, but i trust fully in His plans for me. right now, i feel like He is calling me to some bigger plans than a relationship, and i want to be fully in tune with His heart :)

journey of faith: day seven.

inspiration: this is my 100th post! :)

day seven:
This past week has been amazing! :) I really have felt a lot better about myself and my circumstances. I have really taken a step back from myself and seen all my truly remarkable blessings and it's been an awesome revelation.

goal: to keep my focus on God and place my hope in Him rather than on myself and in others.

Romans 5:3-5: "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."


If I rely on myself or on other humans for fulfillment in life, I will, ultimately, become disappointed. But if I keep my eyes set "on things above" (see Colossians 3:2), God will fill me with His love and compassion and provide me with His spirit and strength, which will not disappoint me.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

journey of faith: day six recap

inspiration: "In this world, you will have trouble. but take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33)"

Blessings:

  • i have groceries!!

  • beautiful weather

  • still making progress with systems analysis implementation

  • amazing friends

  • God's grace

  • savings account

  • about to register for my last semester of college!!!



today has been wonderful. i had systems analysis. i feel like our group is making good progress. we still have a long way to go, but i feel like it's really going well!

i worked in the admissions office today and then went to advisement for the summer and fall semesters! i can't believe i'm about to be done with school! omg. it's so overwhelming and exciting and awesome and terrifying at the same time!! my adviser is going to try and place me in an internship next fall with an external company (outside of APSU, that is), so i definitely have my fingers crossed because getting industry experience will hopefully help me get a job after graduation :)

today, i definitely realized how poorly i've been managing money lately. it really disappoints me. i really need to establish a budget and stick to it. i need to continue tithing and sowing into ministries that advance the fame of God. *sigh*
i have a couple jobs on campus lined up for the summer. Admissions office, HOPEFULLY i'll be a registration/orientation assistant again this summer, and a potential job in the computer science department. *crosses fingers*

i pray that God will place me where He is calling me to be. i know He will provide me with what i need. :)



as far as my "journey" goes, i'm feeling strong. i'm getting to a point where i feel like i can shut doors and wait for others to open. i want to be able to shut the door with this relationship with josh and wait for another to present itself in the right time. as much as i want to be "in a relationship", i want it to be the "right" relationship. i don't want to experience the same heartache and pain that i've been struggling to overcome. and i have faith that when it's meant to be, it will be. God has a timetable that's perfectly aligned with His plans for me :)


Philippians 4:12-13: "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Ecclesiastes 3:1: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven"

quotes.

inspiration: quotes i love :)

A few quotes that I have come across recently that have struck a chord with me, especially in dealing with the hard times and disappointments I've been facing:

"You are going through trials and difficulties, not because God has abandoned you but because He has chosen you and called you to know His heart." --Shelby

"A Christian man is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble -- because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out." --CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, 63

"While the world applauds achievement, God desires companionship. The world clamors, 'Do more! Be all that you can be!' But our Father whispers, 'Be still and know that I am God.' He isn't looking as much for workers as he is looking for sons and daughters -- a people to pour his life into..." --quoted in Completely His, 74 from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World (9-10).

I am far from perfect (hard to believe, I know ;) j/k.) But I strive so hard to please people and to please myself. But it's not about me. It's about God. It's about surrendering my pride and self-ambition for His glory and His plans for me.

I really do need to be still and know He has wondrous plans for me. I need to let Him transcend my life, giving up pieces of myself in order that His name is made famous. My answer should be "Yes, Lord" to what He calls me to do, as I eagerly await His plans for me (see Isaiah 26:8).

journey of faith: day six

inspiration: two days til ink!

day six:
october-march has been an absolute roller coaster of emotions. up, down, sideways, backwards, upside down. all of it. and im determined that no matter what, i will come out of all this emotional turmoil stronger and more in love with God.
but i want to have closure with the past six months. i may not get it from my ex, but i can create it for myself.

goal: come to a point of closure with josh and begin preparing my heart for whoever God has planned for me.

this is going to be a long process in itself; i'll probably have days where i hate the season i'm in, but i know that no matter what, this is all for my good. I need to live in undivided devotion to the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 7:32-35). i want to live that way. and everything will work out for God's purposes.


Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

:)

Monday, March 29, 2010

journey of faith: day five recap

inspiration: friends make life amazing.

Blessings:

  • beautiful weather

  • making progress on systems analysis implementation

  • awesome friends

  • heather for attempting to teach me how to play the violin (even though i probably made her ears bleed. lol)

  • kelsey for her jokes

  • an amazing small group



So today was definitely an AWESOME day!
i got up, went to class, worked, became an asian stereotype (will explain) and laughed my face off at small group. :)

so my genius-photography friend heather needed a model for a narrative project for her photography class. and so i was her model and the narrative was about me dreaming of playing my (wait for it) breakout solo violin concert! *BAM*

haha. and just for the record, i cannot play the violin to save my life. and that is the honest truth. but i hope i faked it well enough for her to get a good grade on her project :)


and then tonight's small group was awesome!
it started when kelsey faceplanted in the doorway (after having a car-ride discussion about tripping and falling). then we listened to an intense podcast about Calvinism, Arminianism (sp?), and Palagianism (sp?) and discussed our thoughts about some theological issues. i'm still just trying to process all of it.
and then heather, kelsey, and i had the post-Bible study discussion about the big bang theory, the office, modern family, and how i met your mother.


and now i am about to make my first late-night-walmart-run since freshman year. ooh, i'm excited. now i'll have more in my fridge than a container of expired cream cheese!! ;)

journey of faith: day five.

inspiration: "i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" -Phil 4:13

day five:
I woke up this morning feeling much stronger, emotionally, than yesterday. I am putting on an armor of strength for God. Today will be the day I will stand strong and overcome all I have held inside.

goal: repeat days 3&4 (forgive josh & not complain)

Ephesians 6:10, 13: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

journey of faith: day four recap

inspiration: beaten and bruised, i'll still fight my demons to bring God's name praise.

Blessings:

  • God's grace

  • amazing family

  • great friends

  • Grace Community Church

  • encouragement from Dr. Denley



today has been a rough day.
i would like to blame it on the weather (cuz it's rainy and gloomy), but i know that it's not that. it's my pride and emotions. i wrote earlier about some frustrations i've been experiencing. after getting some things off my chest, i feel a lot better, but i'm still struggling with being okay with where i am right now.

(One thing that did make me feel better was a comment that Dr. Denley made on my Facebook status earlier:
Status: "Nikki Eidson needs a nap, chicken noodle soup, and a confidence boost. in that order. so off to accomplish number one."
Comment: "As to the third one: I hear so many wonderful things said about your work that I'm surprised you need it."

I really did need that. To be appreciated for something. So that made me feel really good :) )

i missed going to Grace this morning since i was home, but i just listened to the podcast of the sermon. It was a great message and i'm sad i missed hearing it live. but it was a great message that i needed to hear.

God is in control.


He has a plan for me.
He wants us to trust Him and to have faith in the moments where we are seemingly out of control.


Things will work out how God has planned them to. I have to stand firm in my faith and trust in His plans and purposes (and whomever He will bless me with as my future husband). Days like this will continue to build my faith in Him. He will provide me with everything I need. He will comfort me and protect me. He will strengthen me.

He is in control :)

i am worth it.

inspiration: epiphany.

So driving back to Clarksville, I realized that Day Three didn't work out as well as I had thought. I'm still upset about some things. I'm upset that I was led on and that old wounds were re-opened (for seemingly no reason) and that still frustrates me. So I'm thinking Day Five will be a repeat of Days Three and Four...

I wish I could get answers.
I wish I could understand what goes on in the mind of a guy.
I wish I could just get some closure and move on.
...but I don't have a genie in a bottle; therefore, my wishes are pretty much useless.


I just want a stance to be taken. Black or white. I would much rather be told "I hate you; you're not worth it" than to feel like I'm caught in the middle, unsure of what to expect. At least if I'm hated, a stance has been taken. Don't lead me on, then leave me hanging...it hurts. Really badly.

I'm tired of putting my heart on the line and letting myself get hurt. I'm tired of being the one that takes chances and risks failure. I WANT to be the one someone thinks is worth it. I want to be pursued.

One day, I'll have a man who WILL pursue me. One day who WILL find me worth his time. I'll be worth the pursuit. I have a lot to offer to someone, but I don't want to be the chaser anymore. I don't want to experience the heartache and confusion of putting my heart on the line for someone who doesn't want it. I deserve to be treated better than I've allowed myself to be treated. I deserve respect and consideration. Because I am worth it!

journey of faith: day four.

inspiration: Paul's sufferings.

day four:
it's a rainy Sunday morning here at home. i've only been up for about thirty minutes or so, but i've already felt the effects of spiritual attack. the first few days of my spiritual-refocus have gone fairly well. granted, there have been moments of uneasiness, but nothing like today.

i'm so blessed to have so many brothers and sisters in Christ who love and support me in my walk with Christ. and for that, i am eternally grateful. but i feel like i often forget about that and turn inwardly to myself, which is probably no doubt why i feel like i do now: discouraged, mopey, "blahhhh" (for lack of a better word ;)).

goal: i will not complain. i will boast in chains for the name of Christ.

oh, boy. i've typed it. so it must be done.
today is going to be a true test of patience and obedience. lol.

Philippians 2:14-16: "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life -- in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."

Philippians 3:12-14: "Not that I have already obtained all this or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

journey of faith: day three recap.

inspiration: i don't want to be angry anymore.

Ephesians 4:29: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."


I'm bad about stewing over stuff. The more I think about it, the harder it is for me to let it go...And my holding on to junk means there is a huge burden on my back. And it's heavy to carry.

My goal for today was to forgive josh. Therefore, that is what I've been working toward.

I made a list of things that hurt me enormously. They bruised my ego and my spirit, but no longer will I allow them to have that power over me. It's so hard to let go of some of those things. It's so easy to just hold on to that anger.

But God didn't do that to us. He could easily hold every single sin over us. But because of the blood of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Jesus is the ultimate propitiation for our sins: He gave His own life for us so that we could have a relationship with God through Him.

Forgiveness is key.

So to Josh: I'm sorry for holding all those things in my heart against you. None of those things matter to me anymore. I'm not going to let my frustration and anger give Satan a foothold in my life. I don't want to be mad and there's no point in being mad. Life is too short and too precious to be wasted on anger.


Dear Lord,
I am also sorry for holding on to my frustration for so long. I'm sorry for trying to handle things on my own rather than to walk with you in Spirit. No longer will I allow those frustrations to dictate my actions. I want to walk in Your light rather than mope around in darkness carrying bitterness and anger on my back. May I walk in a way that brings Your name glory, honor, and fame.
To You be all praise.
In Your Glorious Son's name...
Amen.


Sanctus Real -- "Forgiven"

journey of faith: day three.

inspiration: tired of bein' mad.

day three:
it's still very easy to let myself become frustrated with josh (and people, in general) when they let me down and hurt me. a certain situation occurred in which i let the guard down to my heart and i ended up getting hurt. since that incident, i have become uber-frustrated with josh because he hasn't talked tome about the situation...

Goal: overcome my frustration and forgive him. truly, truly forgive him.

Ephesians 4:29, 32: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen ... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."




P.S. And in honor of Building 429 -- who derived their name from Ephesians 4:29 -- AND Jason Roy is the worship pastor at Grace Community Church, here's their awesome song "Always"!

Friday, March 26, 2010

journey of faith: day two recap

inspiration: still rollin' with the punches.

Blessings:

  • great family

  • i think i did well on my Oracle test this morning :)

  • i'm learning VBA for Systems Analysis

  • I got our log-in screen for Systems to work! :) And, you bet, I'm happy about that!!

  • The Big Bang Theory!




Today was much better than I thought it would be. I was afraid I would be tempted to text Josh and to try and talk to him, but luckily, that desire has been minimal.

I had a test in Oracle this morning. Besides feeling like my hand was gonna fall off after writing 4 pages of SQL and PL/SQL, I think it went really well. Just worried about the multiple choice section...they're always so tricky...

But then I went to the lab to work on our system for Systems Analysis. I'm so proud because I was able to get our log-in screen to work! (It may sound lame, but it is a pretty awesome accomplishment considering I don't know VBA for Access).

After that, I went to work and attempted to work on the system...

After that, I came home, went to dinner with my parents and watched a movie with them. It's been a wonderful day. Now we're watching The Big Bang Theory ;) Love being home and love The Big Bang Theory :)



Dear Lord,
Thank you for your blessings. Thank you for your love and grace. Thank you for my family and the love they have for me.
In your Glorious Son's name,
Amen.

journey of faith: day two

inspiration: "We will keep our eyes on you, We will keep our eyes on you, So we can set our hearts on you, We will set our hearts on you." --A Mighty Fortress, Christy Nockels

day two:
I constantly get my hopes up when i try to talk to Josh...my goal for today is to give him space and not text him. I cannot control him. The things he is dealing with are between himself and God and I should respect his decisions.

goal: give him space. do not text him.

This will honestly be a difficult day because I am always so tempted to try to talk to and reconcile and share my feelings, but it is one of those things that I am not in control of what happens...I know this in my head, but my pride and heart want to tell me "Love conquers all". But this is genuinely a time where I need to re-establish barriers to my heart and start protecting myself against getting hurt again.

Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

journey of faith: day one recap

inspiration: this is how i roll...

Blessings:

  • an amazing God who loves me beyond measure.

  • amazing friends.

  • sharon west shared cereal with me today for lunch, since i didn't pack mine this morning :)
  • awesome Systems Analysis group (Golden Dragons, ftw)

  • kristin pearson paid for my blazer to be dry cleaned! i picked it up today. i'm so thankful for that blessing :)

  • Woman Club (that also goes with amazing friends, but they're super special to me)

  • my spiritual gift: being a "gazellasaurus" ;)




Today started off really well. We had our Design Phase presentations this morning. Our group was second to go, and I feel like we did really well. Our group has a great team dynamic, we're all laid back and fun, but we get the job done! So that went really well.

When I was at work in admissions, it became very stressful. I allowed my thoughts to turn to my ex, and it made it hard to keep my eyes on Jesus with all my thoughts turned to him. I'm still praying for spiritual discernment and strength throughout this whole process. I'm learning to rely less on the attention and affection of a person and turning to God for love and acceptance. He loves me and He won't ever let me down.

After coming home, I studied quite a bit for my Oracle test in the morning. I still have another section to study, but I will continue my pursuit for higher education after I finish blogging. I got a 98 on my first test, so the bar is set pretty high...

I met with Woman Club tonight (as is tradition every Thursday night). I am so blessed to be surrounded with other girls who I can open up with and share my experiences. We all have different spiritual gifts and it's amazing to be able to come to Woman Club and to just hang out and have fun but to also pray for one another (and run around the UC like T-Rex's. *RAWR*)


I'm not perfect. I don't have things together, sometimes. But all these things, all these feelings, all these emotions are working for a bigger purpose. This is just the dark before the morning. :)


Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there’s a God who loves you where is He now

Maybe there are things you can’t see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending

(snippet from "Before the Morning" by Josh Wilson)



Dear Lord,
Thank you for all your blessings. All the reminders of your love. Thank you for your unconditional love and your Son. Grant me with the strength to just stay strong and rooted in You. To rely on Your love and guidance, not a boy's. Keep my eyes turned to Your heart. Let my soul be in pursuit of You. Not a boy.
In your Glorious Son's name,
Amen.

journey of faith: day one.

inspiration: 1. The Love Dare; 2. my adventure last October; 3. I GET MY TATTOO IN A WEEK!!!


Background: on october 6, 2009, i made my skydiving appointment. and i made a vow, to myself and my BFF Joyann that i would be "guilt free and happy" by October 17, 2009 (which was when i was scheduled to jump -- but i didn't actually end up jumping until the 19th due to weather). but for two weeks (or close to), in the morning, i wrote down a negative feeling to release. i texted joyann my 'goal' and at night, i wrote something positive about my day and i text her my 'accomplishment'. this set up a source of accountability and when i was struggling, i would text or talk to her and she would offer encouragement and strength and helped me really get through a lot of bad things that i was going through.

My idea was based on "The Love Dare" (which i saw used in the movie Fireproof), where the husband's task was to do something for his wife for forty days, and each day, he added on a new task. That's the outlook I tried to take on for my "experiment" last year. it was a rough journey, no doubt. but ultimately, i was totally able to leave "all my baggage in the plane i jumped out of".

This time:
I've been dealing with a lot of frustration with myself and I really don't want to carry that burden anymore. So i'm doing the same thing again. Letting go, one step at a time. And building up my faith and strength, one step at a time.

In a week, I'm getting "faith" tattooed on my left wrist. It's symbolizing the importance and permanence of my faith. It's in a place where I will see it and remember it always. It truly is that important to me. But I need to go into the tattoo parlor knowing that I trust God fully and wholeheartedly. That I trust in His plans for me.

And I can't do that with frustration in my heart.

Day One: I will not complain about being single. I will embrace this season of my life.

Colossians 3:2 "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

feeling worthy.

inspiration: a friend sharing this link with me.

i read this just a few moments ago. i'm a huge fan of Mornings with Brant, although, i will admit that i don't listen to it every morning. so if this is something i missed this morning, then i am disappointed.

Please know your whole life and self-worth will NEVER be wrapped up in any man. God completes you. End of story. (from Nikki's note)


i still struggle a lot with being okay with where i am in life versus where i imagined i would be a year and a half ago. i struggle so much with just being content with the plans God has for me and being filled with Him rather than trying to find contentment in a relationship.

i struggle immensely with self-worth. a year and a half ago, i envisioned my life MUCH differently. i had my entire self-worth dependent on a guy. and here we are, almost six months after that break up, and im still trying to recover from those wounds. and one of those wounds is definitely trust. and unfortunately, that has affected my relationship with Christ.

a quote from Completely His:

(after a reference from Colossians 1:19-23, 28)

"Did you catch what Paul said? You are perfect in Christ. You are holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation. It doesn't matter that you don't feel worthy, because God's lavish love and unconditional acceptance of you isn't based on your worthiness. It's based on His goodness. It's based on the bride price that His perfect Son already paid for you--and me. We are no longer just anybody. We are His chosen. WE are His beloved bride." (p. 49)


I would be lying through my teeth (well, technically, fingers ;)) if I said that these words were easy for me to accept and believe. I still feel like I don't deserve God's love. I know all the things I've done. All the messes I've made. All the times I've deserted Him. All the times I relied (and continue) to rely on myself, rather than trust in Him.

But the fact of the matter is this: Jesus died the most excruciating, torturous, unbelievably brutal death so that I may be seen as perfect and holy in God's eyes.

Jesus loves me.
This I know.



...death on a cross proves that.

So who am I to believe that anyone else would ever be able to "out do" that kind of love?



(One of my new favorite songs about trusting in God's plans, even through the pain!)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

party in the usa.

inspiration: i just need to dance.

so, i'm listening to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" because I, honestly, just need to dance. i've been so stressed, jealous, mad, upset, and just downright obnoxious lately. i feel like ive been so "Nikki-centric" and i just need to relax and look on the bright side:


in the past week, i've:

  • finished Design Phase for Systems Analysis

  • been invited to join Phi Kappa Phi (an all-discipline honor society; i was recognized because i am in the top 7.5% of my class. i have a 3.89 GPA and i'm definitely proud of myself!)

  • determined i'm going to get a tattoo on my birthday

  • made my birthday plans (tattoo and then backyard burger) :)

  • listened to the Passion: Awakening CD which has awakened my soul again for Christ. i miss Passion 2010 so much. that was an amazing time.

  • experienced God's beauty in the lovely weather

  • been blessed by Kristin who offered to pay for my blazer to be dry-cleaned since a bird decided to poop on it :(



and i have so much to look forward to:

  • Design Phase Presentation on thursday

  • spending the entire weekend with my parents! =) since i've been volunteering at Grace, i've only been home on friday and part of saturday. so i'm definitely looking forward to spending the weekend with them

  • my birthday is next thursday! twenty one

  • my registration/orientation assistant interview is april 8. hopefully i'll be able to represent APSU again this summer :)

  • phi kappa phi induction is april 13



i'm so blessed. and sometimes, i get so wrapped up in "me, me, me", that i forget it's not about me. it's about God, God, God!! :)

so i dedicate a moment of dancing and celebration for all my blessings!
**so i put my hands up, they're playin' my song and the butterflies fly away**

;)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

answering the holy spirit

inspiration: i'm such a jerk, sometimes...

i often forget that i'm not in control.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are.


"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)


Jesus knocks on the door of our hearts. He waits for us to answer. He never forces Himself upon us. He waits patiently for us to answer His call to dine with us.

I don't. I knock and get impatient when I feel like I'm ignored. I get irritated when I don't get the answer I want.

But something I realized tonight is that it's not up to me if someone chooses not to open the door for me. It only matters if they're opening up their door to Jesus when He knocks. I can't control the relationship that someone has with Christ. That is totally between them and the Holy Spirit.

I struggle with relinquishing control to the Holy Spirit. I need to put my trust into God and to know that He is knocking on the hearts of my brothers and sisters in Christ and that they will answer His calling when the time is right. For them, not me.

:)

im not okay being comfortable.

inspiration: Ron's sermon.

Today at Grace Community Church, the sermon was about "getting comfortable".

Something we face in every part of our lives is the feeling of settling down and comfortable. We sit back and take for granted the little things; it goes for school, work, and even our spiritual lives. We sort of lose our initial passion and we become complacent with what we have or know.

This is something I KNOW I struggle with a lot! I get comfortable; I turn inward toward what I'm doing rather than reaching outward and trying to share my life and faith with others. A lot of times, living life by faith and walking with Christ is not easy. And it's not going to be. We're not meant to have all the answers. and, I know for me personally, the fear of not having all the right answers regarding my faith makes it very easy to just turn and walk away.

And a quote that Ron used (I have no clue where he got this from, but I really liked it):


"You should not seek to confirm the will of God with the absence of adversity."
--Author unknown by me


He illustrated that above quote with some scripture from Joshua 7:7-10...

Sometimes, I just want to say "What if we had just stayed where it was comfortable?" or "Why didn't I just ignore God and just done this instead?" Sometimes, I want to throw my hands in the air when it gets tough. I just want to give up and say "Ya know what? Screw it." (sorry for that outburst, but that's genuinely how I feel sometimes). I've had several instances where I get SERIOUSLY selfish and think to myself "If I had just ignored God's tugging at my heart, I would have josh (my ex, not to be confused with the one from the Bible. Lol.) back and I'd be happy."

But obviously, the tugging on my heart and my desire to glorify Him over fulfilling my selfish human want for companionship was God's wake-up call for me to endure hardships for His name (Him, not me). And it's hard most of the time (like in my case, 99.9% of the time) to not give up, to keep enduring.

But God has a plan for us. We are called to face trials and tests and perhaps persecution in order to bring His name fame. We don't do that when we're comfortable. In our comfortable moments, we tend to be focused on "self" (well, at least, I know I do. I tend to have the mindset of "I'm in control", which we all know is NOT true!) And today was a great reminder of that.

God doesn't want us to be comfortable.
He wants us to be constantly pursuing Him and leading others to Christ, too. :)


And just to include it because it was our closing song (and it rocks and I hardcore LOVE it!)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

boy hardships.

inspiration: boys make my head hurt.

so i've been dealing a lot with troubles of the heart.
certain situations have made me start thinking about my ex-boyfriend a lot. i've been praying for him and i've been praying for discernment about how to handle certain situations and i feel like i've gotten no clear answer.

i've realized that i care about him immensely, and based on some recent conversations, i'm led to believe that he feels the same way. it's an incredibly hard situation to be in since i'm trying hard to stay out of "gray areas" (as noted in this blog post). i'm striving hard to keep my focus on God, but it feels like the more i try, the weaker i get and the more my thoughts turn to josh.

recently, my thoughts have revolved around "can i see us having a future?". truth be told, i don't want to be "just friends" because i care about him on a deeper level. i'm trying to discern if he is "the one", but i fear that the answer i'll get won't be God's voice, but rather my own desires. like i said, it's a pretty complex situation.

i trust in God's plans for us. i know that in either situation, whether we remain whatever we are or if we are meant to get back together, that it's all for His purposes. but i certainly need some prayer and strength.

Friday, March 19, 2010

meekness.

inspiration: a feeling & A.W. Tozer

First off, I feel like I must share a situation that I found myself in last night...I’m single. Anyone who reads this blog knows that. I’m happy being so for a couple reasons: 1. I’m pretty independent as it is, and I don’t do well when I feel like I’m "bound" to someone. I don’t want to feel like I have to ask someone’s permission to go somewhere or do something...I just wanna go and do. 2. And most importantly, this is a season God is blessing me with in order to grow closer to Him.
Unfortunately, I often lose my way. I "trip" in my walk with God and I turn to self-pity and whining.

Yesterday was one of my best friend’s birthday. Several of our friends had an absolute BLAST Post-It Noting her room and she absolutely loved it! We followed that up by celebrating at her house with pizza and cake and some good ol’ chill time.

But when I left, I felt something I haven’t experienced or acknowledged in a long time: jealousy. I was jealous of her for what (well, who) she has in her life. I was jealous that she has a boyfriend who LOVES Christ and loves her. I was jealous that no one feels that way about me. I have no one who will pursue me and "sweep me off my feet". And that hurts.

I sent her a text this morning and I felt like a jerk telling her how I felt and the reason, but I had to. I couldn’t live with that burden of jealousy sitting on my back: I HAD to ask for forgiveness. Being the amazing friend and amazing follower of Christ that she is, she extended that forgiveness. But more than that, she extended love and grace, and that’s what I needed most. (So thank you Brookeulus! Ily fo’ rilly!). Even when I was being selfish and self-centered and said something that could've affected our friendship in a devastating way, she was able to still tell me "You are a true and honorable friend :)" and I really appreciate that (even though it's not true sometimes).


But shifting gears a bit, I’ve been reading A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. I love it and I really like Tozer! He has been quoted quite a bit in other literature I’ve read, and I decided I wanted to read him firsthand. And I think he is awesome!
Something I just finished reading earlier today was about meekness. Now, before I read this chapter, when I heard the word "meek", I thought of a mouse. One that was timid and tame and not very strong...But after reading a chapter about meekness and rest (and looking it up on dictionary.com), I realized that meek isn’t a synonym for "weak", which is what my interpretation of it kind of revolved around.

The dictionary.com definition:

1. humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others.
2. overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.


A quote that Tozer used:

The rest he offers is the rest of meekness, the blessed relief which comes when we accept ourselves for what we are and cease to pretend (146).


Now to backtrack for a moment...
If you know anything about me, it’s that I’m a nerd. True story. I’m like "married to my schoolwork". My life pretty much revolves around school (and especially Systems Analysis, right now). And I tend to stress and stress and STRESS about school. And on top of that, I stress about relationships and trying to be "good enough" for someone to pursue (as illustrated above).

But something I’ve been trying to do is to rest. And today’s reading was just another reminder about acquiring a meekness that allows us to rest.

Matthew 11:28-29 says:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.


I struggle with pride. I struggle with impatience. I struggle with imperfection. I like to think I’m in control. But something I want to just embrace and something I need to acquire is meekness.

A quote that I loved:
The burden borne by mankind is a heavy one and a crushing thing [True dat, Tozer!]. The word Jesus used means "a load carried or toil borne to the point of exhaustion". Rest is simply release from that burden. It is not something that we do; it is what comes to us when we cease to do. His own meekness, that is the rest (140).


Being meek does not mean being weak. In fact, I’ve realized, it’s in acquiring meekness that we become strong! When we surrender ourselves to living for God rather than for ourselves and for the world, we become stronger in relationship with God. We are no longer worried about "What does the world think about me?" "What if I’m not enough?" "What if I’m not perfect?" "What if (fill in the blank)…?" We, instead, have our eyes fixed on the only One that matters and it matters not what others think of us, but it becomes about what HE knows about us.

Something that I struggle immensely with is self-worth sometimes. I want to be important to someone; I want someone to pursue me and make me feel special. But I have that someone. It may not be in physical form, but God is pursuing my spiritual heart. And that’s what I realized from my situation with Brooke and Tozer.

:)

P.S. If you read all of this, you rock! ;)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

a reminder to relax.

inspiration:i've been stressed. i need to relax and trust God


The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

--Psalm 23



i've been so stressed with school and work and meetings and managing time well. i've been so stressed with certain situations with a certain boy and just trusting in God's plan for us. I know that no matter what, God has someone planned for me. I just keep going back to my emotional desires for affection rather than trusting in God's love. Only His love will ever fill me completely. Even if things worked out with that certain person, God's love and mercy and grace would still abound.

But stress and worry are such man-made obstacles that keep me from trusting in God. Stress and worry mean that I am trying to rely on myself, rather than trusting in the One who has all things under control and holds all things together (see Colossians 1:17).

Psalm 23:1-3 is today's BibleGateway.com's Verse of the Day. Reading that this morning spurred me to read the entire Psalm and to just meditate and pray over it.

Green pastures and still quiet waters imply to me relaxation. PEACE. and that's the place I should be striving to be. At peace. And trusting. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

God is with me always. There is nothing He cannot handle. There is nothing He cannot control. I should take comfort in that.

No matter the circumstances, no matter the stress, I can put my entire trust in the Lord and He WILL come through for me! He ALWAYS does!! :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

super sunday.

inspiration: God's blessings :)

so today was pretty much the most awesome day i've had this entire spring break!
it started off with Grace Acres check in at the 8:30 and 10 o'clock services. I LOVE volunteering in there; even though i'm not with the kids, i still get to see them and talk to them (most of them look at me like im crazy though ;) but i should be used to that. lol) and they're so precious, but at the same time, i know it will be a VERY long time until i have any of my own.

the service today was AMAZING. there was awesome music (Christy Nockels' "A Mighty Fortress" is probably one of my favorite worship songs ever!). and the sermon was SPECTACULAR! it focused on the parable about the Good Samaritan and how Jesus used the most unlikely person (a Samaritan, who was hated by both Jews and Gentiles) to be the "good neighbor" and help the man who had been robbed, beaten, and left to die in the road, even as the priest and Levite crossed to the other side of the road.

we are often called to love those that are "hard to love". Jesus didn't die for only the people he wanted to love. he died for ALL of us, even as we sinned against Him, he still chose to love us. therefore, we should honor that and truly "love our neighbors as ourselves" (and by neighbors, we mean everyone. the sweet old lady who lives next door as well as the other old lady who seemingly nags everyone for everything). it's a hard thing to do sometimes, but that's how we share the Gospel: by living it out!

tonight's Bible study at the Denley's was also INCREDIBLE. Week 3 of the "Alpha" series focused on "Why Jesus Died for Us". the speaker did an incredible job at presenting a principle that's so familiar in a way that was still very relevant and very thought provoking. :) i could literally probably write forever and ever and ever about what he said. but i'll just summarize, i guess:

Romans 3:23 is sort of the "problem": we're all sinners. we can't measure up to God. period.
John 3:16 gives the "reason", "solution", and "result" of why Jesus died for us: God loves us. He gave His only Son to be crucified for us, to take away our sins. Because of His death, when we believe in Him, we are given everlasting life. He is the true propitiation of our sins (see Romans 3:24).

We are wiped clean of our sins, our ransom has been paid, justice has been served and we are truly forgiven, and we become part of Christ's family.


i'm so incredibly blessed. i have this incredibly church community to serve. i have amazing small groups that i meet with every week who are genuinely like FAMILY! :) i have such awesome friends who lift me up to God in my struggles and praise God with me during the good times. i'm so just thankful that I'm so blessed and loved and a part of something that's so wonderful and spectacular.

A mighty fortress is our God,
A sacred refuge is Your name,
Your kingdom is unshakable,
With you forever we will reign


--"A Mighty Fortress", Christy Nockels

Saturday, March 13, 2010

over it. trusting Him.

inspiration: im over it.

im not sure what exactly "it" is. but it's whatever is going on that's keeping me from giving my absolute ALL to God. it's been stress; it's been boys (well A boy); it's been systems analysis; it's been just complacency. and i'm over it.

i'm not okay being "complacent" in my relationship with God. i want DEEPLY DESIRE to be on fire for Him. He deserves my all. He deserves my heart. This week has been so laid back and I have had a whole lot of time to do a whole lot of nothing that I've fallen out of my routine with God.

But I'm about to start a brand new week. Clean slate.
I've made up my mind.
No more boy drama.
No more stressing over things I cannot control.
[I'd say no more systems analysis, but I can't get rid of that until May 7]
Now that Spring Break is over, i'm going to settle back into my hectic routine (that i love). No more sleeping in. No more being lazy. But a whole lot more room for God in my heart and soul.

I'm trusting in Him to satisfy my needs and desires.
I'm trusting in Him to comfort me and strengthen me.
I'm trusting in Him to keep me rooted and established in His word.
I'm trusting in Him completely. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

patience: a lesson learned only in time.

inspiration: patience...

i'm impatient. very much so.
i get ideas. and it bothers me a lot to have to wait to accomplish things that will bring my ideas to fruition.

but i realize that sometimes, patience is just a test.


"And we pay this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." --Colossians 1:10-12


a huge barrier between myself and God sometimes is my lack of patience. and i'm starting to realize that in overcoming those barriers, i am able to grow closer to God. and also once i overcome one barrier, it helps me overcome others. example:

as i have stated in yesterday's post, i applied for a passport in order to go on two missions trips (one in July to Guatemala, one in December to Costa Rica) and received a letter stating they didn't have sufficient information regarding my citizenship (which FYI, i was born in South Korea and adopted by U.S. parents. i was naturalized, therefore, i am a U.S. citizen). however, i only had a copy of my Naturalization Certificate, so i sent that to the Department of State (along with my adoption decree and parents' birth certificates proving their US citizenship), but that was not enough...

So today, I sent off my application and fee to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services requesting a New Certificate of Naturalization (which I will send to the Department of State, proving my US Citizenship)...However, that is completely a waiting game. And since I only have 90 days with the Dept. of State, otherwise I have to begin the entire passport process over again, it's an even more tense waiting game.

But I'm slowly starting to realize that even if the paperwork doesn't come through in time for me to go to Guatemala, that just means God has something bigger planned for me this summer. I have many opportunities to serve others this summer, so maybe He wants to use me here.

A friend commented on my status of frustration yesterday: "Remember: "No" is just as much an answer from God as "yes" or "wait."" And once I read that, I immediately realized that I needed to trust in HIS plans for me; not the ones that I planned for myself.

Another example: relationships. (and oh boy, is this a tough one).
I've overcome so many obstacles to get to the point I'm at now. But I know truly and wholeheartedly that the person God has in mind to be my future husband is 1. out there, 2. in love with Christ fully, and 3. will be revealed to me according to God's timetable.

it all comes down to patience. and it all comes down to trust.
they're hard lessons to learn (especially for me), but surrendering to Him and trusting in His plans always brings us closer to God :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

passport or no passport, i'll still serve!

inspiration: serving. no matter what.

so i sent off to get a passport back at the end of January. but i got a letter from the Department of State saying they received insufficient information about my citizenship to grant me passport.

naturally, i'm very upset. i sent them my certificate of foreign birth, a copy of my certificate of naturalization (because that's all my parents have...can't find the original), my adoption decree (that i had to obtain from county records) and both my parent's birth certificates (proving they were US citizens). but apparently having all that documentation isn't enough. so i'm going to go to the Passport office again tomorrow and see why the adoption decree they sent wasn't "good" enough.

i have 90 days to send them the information before they send all my documentation back. and i'm upset and nervous and sad.

i wanted a passport to go on two missions trips this year: Guatemala in July and Costa Rica in December. but even if those plans fall through, i'm still going to serve my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and serve in my church and community!

This could be a blessing in disguise. Only God knows His plans for me. :)


(Although I am saddened by the fact that not getting a passport means I wouldn't be able to go to Australia for my honeymoon like I've always dreamed of *sigh*)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

no more gray.

inspiration: a crazy day.

the past two days have just been maddeningly crazy. between systems analysis and a roller-coaster-of-emotions-love-life, i feel like im about to just crash (which im likely to do considering i've been awake since 3AM this morning).

but i've come to realize that i cannot handle gray areas.
this takes me back to Passion 2010, listening to Beth Moore speak about spiritual discernment. but most importantly, i've come to realize that in my future relationships, there is a black and white area.

the black is the "just friends" area. this to me means just that. just friends. we just hang out, have fun, no commitments to each other; just enjoying each other's company.

the white is "i'm in it for the long run". over the past few months, i've come to realize that i'm not into "casual dating". dating to no end just seems very pointless to me. when you give someone time and energy and attention, you're giving them pieces of yourself in the process. and the more you give, the more attached you become. but if you're attaching yourselves with no intention of "becoming one flesh" (aka marriage), then what's the point? why do it? you're only hurting yourselves and the other person.

i've been caught up in gray areas before. even today, i fell briefly into an especially gray area; but i'm completely rooted in the fact that i will either be black or white. i have suffered a lot of heartache and pain standing in the gray waiting for something to change. waiting for someone to come along. but i've realized that God cannot be glorified when we're straddling the fence. we have to be all for Him. and that's what i intend to be in either a "just friends" situation or in a "relationship for the long run" situation.

if i'm single, i'm glorifying God.
if i'm dating with the intent of "becoming one flesh" with someone, we will glorify God with our relationship.

i'm black or i'm white.
no more in between.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

ive been slacking...

inspiration: i have been slacking...

so i feel like i've really been slacking with my blogs lately.
i've been so busy (and i realize that shouldn't necessarily be used as an excuse), but i've been busy in a "good" way.

i feel like a whole new person, almost.
around this time last month, i wrote this blog. but in the past month, i've had a "change of heart" almost. i've started to focus on the positives in life and focus on the future rather than the negatives and the past.

sure, i still have those moments where i'm in "negative nikki" mode, but they are fewer and far between nowadays. people, circumstances, and things aren't going to keep me down. i'm not going to let them.

so if you read my blogs for encouragement, i guess the best piece of advice i can share with you today is this:

MAKE time for God. revel in His beauty and majesty. make a list of everything good that you have in your life. sometimes it may not seem like there is much good in it, but when you do focus on the positives, it will be much easier to experience God's presence :)


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

--Philippians 4:4-9

Thursday, March 4, 2010

i love you.

inspiration: God's unchanging, unconditional, almighty love.

this is going to be a short post. but like the phrase (and story of my life), good things come in small packages.

God is forever telling us:

I LOVE YOU!!



He knew us before we were even born, before we were created, before we were known. He loves us so much. We mess up. A lot. But He still loves us. The idea of grace is hard to accept sometimes. Even for me, it's sometimes a foreign concept, that God would love me after all I've done and the mistakes I've made. But He does. He always has and always will. Even when we're undeserving, even when we mess up.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

come to me all who are weary...

inspiration: restless.

lately, i've been feeling very restless and uneasy about things. mostly small things, but it seems like everything has been overwhelming me and not in a good way.

relationships (or lackthereof) keep getting me down.
school stresses (namely Systems Analysis) are worrying me.

almost to the point that sleep is almost futile. i'll sleep for 8 hours, but wake up feeling restless and tired, again.

today, i went to worked in admissions, went to class, worked hard with my Systems Analysis group. we completed almost all of our hierarchy chart, but that's just one page out of about 200 that we have to complete before March 16th. i tried to take a nap before the OVC tournament games, but couldn't rest. i went to the Govs game tonight (which was pretty intense), and enjoyed myself, but now im like tired and restless again.

tomorrow, i have classes, meetings, work, AQUA (which will be another highlight evening! :) ), but how will i feel tomorrow night? hopefully not as tired as tonight.
for i remembered this verse and i will try my very hardest to be peaceful tonight:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)



I need to just calm down; lay all my worries at the foot of the cross and allow God's peace and rest flow in me and through me. He will take care of me, even when it seems like I'll never get anything done.

I lay my burdens and restlessness here before you, Lord. Give me rest. Amen.