January 13, 2012

walk…. in what direction?

Walk by faith, not by sight.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on His understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

“I know the plans I have you for you,” says the Lord. “Plans to give you hope and future.”

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of Christ, which is beyond comprehension, will guard your heart and your mind.

(All the above are the from the Malinda Paraphrased Version.)


We know these words. We KNOW these truths. If it were written like questions on a test, we would answer correctly. When someone walks through a trial, we promptly reply with these solutions. And rightly so, because they ARE truth.

But that golden opportunity to actually live our beliefs that seems much more exciting in concept then in reality. We store up these scriptures and promises like stocking up on bread and milk before a bad storm. But when the storm hits, do we decide that bread and milk no longer sound appealing, but we’d rather have pop-tarts and soda instead?

Ok, so that seems like a stretch of an analogy, but stick with me here. We study God’s word and strive to apply it to our lives. Everything seems to make sense and we’re ready for anything. Until that “anything” happens. Then our peace flies out the window as we fret and panic. Sure, we profess that God has it under control and we trust Him. But if this was honest, why are we such a mess? Do we just not truly believe it? Where is the disconnect? Why do we trade in the things we know to be right for a bigger mess?

This must be the part where I jump in with a new, shinier scripture that makes our process clear. Maybe something from Paul about doing what we don’t want to do? Or maybe something even more encouraging than our familiar passages… perhaps an obscure verse we somehow failed to notice before? Then again, maybe it’s this “magic word” theology that produces such weak faith from the beginning.

I can’t offer the ultimate solution, because I’m still working it out for myself. All my studying and learning have produced a good head knowledge of the “right answers”- and they ARE right. My continuing life journey with God is fortifying my heart with these truths, so that it will remain steady on the rock foundation during the inevitable and reoccurring storms.

But we’re weak until the roots of God’s truth burrow deeply in our soul. I think that’s where the difference is found, the difference between freaking out during the chaotic stuff versus taking shelter under the Shadow of the Almighty during the same hurricane. I’m reading about book about “Swamplands of the Soul” which points out something the book of James has tried to tell us for years. All the trying seasons are not necessarily evils to be avoided, but birthing places for beautiful growth in us. What this mainstream book doesn’t include is that the swamplands provide a brilliant canvas for God’s artistry, too. When there’s lots of room for Him to work, there’s a lot He can do.

As usual, I do not write these words as a “sermon from a soapbox”. I am literally sitting on my couch, typing what I am trying to work out for myself. Unexpected circumstances have overturned the plans I had- for school/career stuff, living situation, and other miscellaneous matters. 90% of me is freaking out- literally. The other 10% is writing this, thinking, praying, and clinging to the hope that lives in the truths we know. I have a feeling if we share that little bit we all have in us, it could become something stronger altogether.

January 05, 2012

fresh sheet of paper?

If I was the type of girl who made New Year’s resolutions, I would (once again) strive for more disciplined blogging.

If I was still the type of girl who set goals for the coming year, I would definitely aim to post more frequently.

But since I’m a girl who isn’t sure what this year will bring, I won’t set myself up for failure.

I’m still going to attempt better blogging, though. For real. I promise.


It’s difficult to dance my way into 2012 when 2011 still hauntingly lingers. While my long-term goals remain the same, the short-term details have changed and require regrouping. There are many personal issues and emotions that are still unresolved from the past year. The date changed, but who says our new beginnings correspond with a calendar? Am I the only person who doesn’t feel like January wiped the slate clean?


But for now, here’s the obligatory recap:

Since my last entry, my doctor decided that mania wasn’t the best idea, so yet another medication has brought me to a healthy normal level of existence. For now. But that is another matter for another discussion.

The Christmas show was successful. :) After a nice little holiday break, Masquer is about to begin a production of “Godspell”. This also means that many of us are “in training” to prepare for high energy performances that include simultaneous singing and dancing. So yay for lots of exercise and excessively healthy eating and the like. Thankfully, my spring semester includes a twice-weekly yoga class.

Christmas itself was lovely… the lights, festivities, music, gifting, fun times with loved ones, special church services….. all good things. :) My church blessed me by providing needed funds to cover a parking ticket (and then some). This literal Christmas miracle overwhelmed my heart with gratitude.

Additionally, my parents and Claudia visited! For the past week, we’ve been doing vacation-y things. I’m quite proud of my tour guide skills (particularly with budget activities!), and am glad to offer my services to all of you who visit! For the curious, here are a few things we did/saw/experienced:

- Redondo Beach pier

- Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and tidepools

- New Year’s Eve at the Long Beach Waterfront

- a little bit of hiking in the San Gabriel mountains

- shopping at the Americana

- a quick visit with the Hollywood sign

- a tour of Sony Studios

(disclaimer: i did not take a single one of those photos, but they are as accurate as possible… you get the idea.)


Now that the family has returned home, 2012 has officially begun- whether I am ready or not. Here’s to a school-free January full of productivity and creative accomplishment. Here’s to a year blessed by the good things of last year and stronger because of the challenges. I raise my glass to a healthy combination of optimism and something resembling wisdom.

And I pray that God is smiling on your new year, too.