Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When It's Time to Change, You've Got to Rearrange

Well, I am finally motivated to clean and organize my room and closet. I bought some storage containers today- one that I am going to use for jewelry and the other(s) for all the miscellaneous junk that accumulates in/on my desk. I am looking forward to getting the room and closet here de-cluttered and getting everything in place in my new room at school. Tomorrow will hopefully be my intense day of cleaning, but I plan on getting some stuff done tonight starting with organizing or getting rid of jewelry and organizing all my "bath stuff." i have a big 3-drawer storage cart that I am going to use for the bath stuff. I can get it all put away now and just remove the drawers and stack them in my car when it's time to move. I'm visiting Micah next week at school, so I plan on taking a load of stuff with me when I go since he will be there to help me move in. I can't wait to see him :).

Speaking of Micah...yesterday I got a letter and a cd (mixtape) in the mail from him. Real mail is always fun, especially when it's a surprise from the person you love. Plus, noone's ever sent me anything like that before.

I feel like the summer has slipped through my fingers, and it's making me kinda sad. I haven't hung out with friends as much as I'd hoped to since I have been trying to save money. I've bought some (needed) clothes. I say needed because I don't have much "nice" stuff (I mostly have t-shirts and slouchy jeans), and I've been trying to invest, little-by-little, in a more grown up wardrobe. I've made some great purchases lately without spending a ton of money, so I'm happy.

I'm looking forward to being very productive with the last part of my summer- cleaning, organizing, simplifying. I feel like God has been challenging me to be less consumeristic and to simplify my life in all areas. It's going to be a challenge, and I've experienced a wide range of emotions while discerning where he is leading me in this area. Part of it may just be guilt because Americans have so much more than most any other countries in the world. Part of it, though, is conviction. I'm excited about the ride God is taking me on. Sometimes it is hard, and sometimes it is so frustrating to get over one hurdle just to encounter another. But, I know it is part of the process of God making me more like Him. I'm thankful He has the patience to not let me stay where/how I am and to keep molding me and changing me, despite my bajillion hurts and hangups. He is patient until the end.

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."
- Philippians 1:6

Friday, July 23, 2010

Afternoon thoughts

I spent last night reading over my previous blog entries to see where I've been and how far (or not) I've come. I can say that today my heart, mindset, and attitude are very different than they were a year ago. I still struggle with some of the same things, but I handle them differently. I still have days where I feel down, but now I always feel hope at the same time. I have more confidence in myself, more faith in the Lord, and I finally accept and feel like He loves me. Those are some pretty big steps on the path to becoming who God wants me to be. I wish I could share the vision I believe God has for me, but it's hard to translate in to words. I bet it wouldn't make sense to most people even if I could. I feel the Spirit at work in my life probably more than I ever have before. I finally understand and feel that I am not a hopeless case. I simply have to keep persevering, running the race, and following His lead to get where He wants me to be. It's not about me figuring things out or understanding everything. It's not about me having a map telling me exactly where I'm headed. It's not even about making sure I have people around to help me along the way. It is about fully trusting in God and surrending to Him, no matter what that might mean.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Do any of you struggle with perfectionism? For a long time I thought that I had worked past it because it wasn't so obvious. Lately, however, I've realized that I'm not past it, and it is a HUGE struggle. I am not type A in the sense that I am organized and insanely tidy BUT I have extremely high expectations for myself. Even when I say, "Oh it's ok I didn't do so well in this class," on the inside I'm thinking, "You're stupid. You're lazy. You're not as good as other people. You aren't smart. No one is going to like you. No one really likes you or loves you. They just think they do."

Today was one of those days. I was babysitting, and I just kept getting so frustrated (which isn't normal because the kids are great!). I dropped a spoon and splattered baby food on myself twice. I kinda messed up two bowls in the microwave. I couldn't get the baby to eat. Etc. But seriously, I dropped the stupid spoon TWICE?!? And it landed on my shorts TWICE?!? All I could think was, "Dangit Sara you are so stupid. You are a bad babysitter. Good babysitters never make a mess and always get the kid to eat." I'm aware that my thinking was completely irrational. Perfectionism is always irrational. Nothing and no one is ever perfect. I know this. So why do I feel such a need to be perfect? I was venting to Micah about my day and he said, "Man your self-esteem has really been low lately." And he's right. The last several weeks it has been the lowest I can remember. I've literally wanted to crawl under a table and hide. I don't look perfect (let's not talk about the weight I've gained, the dark circles always under my eyes, etc.), dress perfect (I hate shopping and feel so intimidated in stores), talk perfect (whether that means saying the right things or speaking at a normal pace), or walk perfect (I slump). I don't do school perfectly (I've made 2 C's...ridiculous and very unlike me!). I don't do relationships perfectly. I feel like a hopeless case, a huge mess, 116 pounds of ridiculousness. These things have been dominating my thoughts lately. No wonder my self-esteem is so low!

So back to my question...do you struggle with perfectionism? And/or do you have any biblical advice on the matter? I know I may seem like a big mess when I write here and I often feel like a big mess, but my life is not a mess. But, sometimes when God works to change us it's painful and messy. I am NOT a mess. I am NOT ugly, or fat, or stupid, or a hopeless case, or any other of the lies the devil would like me to believe. I am beautiful, I am loved, I am cared for and about, I am remembered, I am valued, and on and on. Sometimes it's important to say/write those things. Let them sink in. Maybe someday I will truly, deeply, and forever believe them. Have you ever heard phrases or whatnot about the devil "stealing your joy?" That's exactly how I feel. That makes me think of the song, "I went to the enemy's camp and I took back what he stole from me...he's under my feet, Satan is under my feet!" Maybe I should sing myself to sleep with that song...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Books and snacks!

Right now I am reading Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan. I am loving it! Coming from a background that doesn't usually neglect the Holy Spirit, I was attracted to the book and very interested to see what Chan had to say. I wondered if he leaned more one way than the other, since it seems that many people go to one extreme or the other when talking about the Holy Spirit. Chan seeks to simply use the Bible to give evidence to the Holy Spirit and the necessity of the Spirit in our lives. He addresses fear- fear that God won't show up if we pray for the Spirit to work in our lives and also the fear that God will show up and ask us to something uncomfortable. I definitely can identify with the latter. As I read and pondered what was written, I realized that I am more afraid of the Holy Spirit showing up than I am of God not showing up. I have been praying a lot lately for God to guide me and that His will to be done in my life, all the while saying at the same time, "I don't want your will if it includes speaking in tongues and admitting that I have a lot of pride and that I may be messing up some stuff in my life." Talking about hindering the Spirit! I am only through Chapter 2 of the book, but I am looking forward to reading the rest of it. I am also going to be praying and talking to my dad about my fear of the Spirit and speaking in tongues. Yes, I know there is NOTHING to be afraid of and that fear (other than the kind that means awe and amazement) is NOT from God. I know this. I know how silly I may seem. Regardless, it is where I am right now. It is NOT where I plan to stay! Moving on...

On facebook a few weeks ago I posted about making a frozen fruit salad. I figured I'd post the recipe here because I just got it out of the deep freezer again to eat a little bit. What's awesome about it is that you can put the salad in cupcake liners and freeze or freeze, cut, and then wrap in plastic wrap so that you have individual portions to easily grab all summer long as you want them! I got the recipe here. I made a few modifications. Since mom is allergic to strawberries, I added a bag of blueberries and a can of mandarin oranges instead. And for those that don't know, a #2 can is 20 oz. I got the smaller can of pineapple because I didn't know what a #2 can was at the time. The proportions of my version worked fine, and it turned out delicious!

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
3/4 c. sugar
1 lg. Cool Whip, thawed
2 (10 oz.) frozen strawberries, thawed
1 #2 crushed pineapple, drained
3 lg. bananas, sliced
Cream cheese and sugar together. Combine fruits and Cool Whip. Add cream cheese mixture. Freeze! You may pour salad into cupcake papers, pretty and nice for luncheons.