Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dreams Must Die

This is a section of the book "Before You Meet Prince Charming" by Sarah Mally, which is a great book for any young lady to read by the way, and I thought it was just really good an very applicable to me.

The princess was silent for a few moments and then began to speak slowly. "Years ago I decided that I had a purpose in life much bigger than marriage and that I would gladly stay single if my heavenly Father asked this of me. Time after time, I have prayed for His will to be done and purposed to be content. And just when I thought I had finally understood contentment, Sir Valiant came to visit, and... and... and that made everything harder. I just don't understand why I can't learn to trust and am so easily distracted. And why -" she concluded with a sigh, "why does this have to be so difficult?"
"Struggles are a necessary part of life," her mother said. "They strengthen us and prepare us for the new trials that lie ahead. When one struggle is overcome, another one is often around the next bend."
"I suppose. But Mother, I feel like I'm failing each struggle, not overcoming them."
"You are growing. You are learning. These are the very things the struggle is designed to accomplish in your life. Do not forget, dear daughter, that except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit."
"Bear fruit... that's exactly what I want to do," the princess said quietly, as if deep in thought.
"Then your dream must die."
"But my dream is a good dream, not a bad dream. It is the dream God has given me. It is nothing wicked I desire, but only what is natural, wholesome, and beautiful. Why must it die?"
Her mother stepped off the path, knelt down, picked up an acorn, and explained, "Observe this acorn, perfectly designed for what it is intended to do - die. The acorn does not know why; the acorn does not understand what is ahead, but only if it is buried in the cold and dark earth - forgotten and left alone - does it fulfill its purpose and become what it was created to be. Would the acorn ever have imagined that it would become the beautiful oak tree you see before you? Not in it's wildest dreams. When you admire the oak tree, do you mourn the loss of the acorn? Of course not. By losing it's life, the acorn became something so much greater, so much more beautiful, so much more valuable. The death is forgotten. The fruit is remembered. Nevertheless, death was required.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ahh... I am SO thankful for this beautiful spring weather! I LOVE the sound of birds singing, and I'm so glad I get to hear it every day now! We will probably get more snow before the summer comes to stay, but it won't be long! :)

So a little update of what's been going on in my life:
-Last weekend I went to a NANC conference at Faith Fellowship Church and it was wonderful! There was a lot of good teaching.
-I have been learning to cook and bake! I thought this would be important to work on , since I hope to get married someday. I baked home-made bread for the first time and it turned out absolutely perfect!! I've also made supper almost every night the past two weeks, and often baked desserts, too.
-I can't wait until school is done for the year!! I'm persevering... but it's getting old!
-I am so, so very thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as always! I'm reading through the Bible this year and it's so exciting! I have been learning about choosing to have joy in life. I can be very melancholy if I don't try to be joyful, so I've been working on it. And you know what? Being happy is so much more fun. ;)
-Today and Saturday are the Youth Seminars!! I went last year and LOVED it a TON, so I'm really excited about this year! There's a ton of good teaching and lots of fun and friends. I can't wait!!!!

That's what's going on with me!

Friday, March 5, 2010

What really matters...

In my last post, I challenged all the girls reading this to the "7 Days in a Dress" challenge. I thought I should tell you how it's going.

The first day, Tuesday, I picked out an outfit, and attempted to do my hair up. I did a style that was very simple. Later on, though, I had to change it to something else because my hair is very thick and hard to manage, so it poofed up and looked terrible. Then, throughout the day, I had to keep on fixing it over and over and over again.

The next day, Wednesday, I finally found an outfit that would work for the day, and I did my hair in a way that seemed simple, but then later, it poofed up and got all frizzy and knotted and the clip fell out, so I had to re-wet my hair and start all over from scratch.

That evening at prayer meeting (our church has prayer meeting on Wed. nights) I prayed with my mom, and then we sat around and talked for a long time. As we did, I realized how foolish we can be sometimes. In the Bible, it never specifically mentions that we should always wear skirts or dresses. It also doesn't encourage us to spend excessive amounts of time on our hair. The Bible tells us not to be adorned by outward things. I am not defending having a sloppy appearance, or dressing immodestly. In fact, I usually wear skirts just because I like to, and it's hard for me to find modest pants. But I don't think that a modest skirt is any better than modest pants. The concepts in the Bible tell us that, as women, we should dress modestly and respectably, in a way that honors God.

1 Peter 3:3-5 says:
3"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,"

Now ponder that for a moment. God says we're NOT to be wasting time on making our hair extravagant, or wasting money on fancy clothes and jewelry, or vainly dressing for attention. We are to be quiet, and gentle, not drawing attention to ourselves. Now wait... does this mean we can't wear pretty things? Do we always hair to look drab and never do our hair? Of course not! Look at Proverbs 31:21-22:

"21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple."

Sounds to me like she wears beautiful clothing! But that's not what defines her.

"25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come."

She dresses in a way that is beautiful and feminine, and she's certainly not sloppy or lazy about her appearance, because she's not that way about anything! Her beauty, though, is in her spirit. She is a woman of God! THAT my friends is what really matters - not dresses and skirts, or hairdos, or shoes, or jewelry, or anything that we might think.

So it's up to you. If you believe God would have you to wear skirts, then by all means, do! But if that's not you, then glorify Him in wearing other modest clothing! I am resigning from this 7-day challenge because my life has a lot of circumstances where it is easier/better for me to wear pants (snowboarding, for example). But I'm never going to resign from the challenge to be a Proverbs 31 woman, and I hope you won't, either! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. May God bless you as you rise up in Him!

Monday, March 1, 2010

So much to say, so little space!

Goodness! Has it really been 2 weeks since I've written? I guess I have this idea in my head that I'll write every couple of days, but that never happens, does it!

Well, my trip snowboarding on the bunny hill with McKayla was wonderful! Added to the coolness of that, she's letting me borrow her snowboard for a couple of weeks to finish out my season! It's so neat how God works things out like that. I didn't go snowboarding last Thursday because I was REALLY tired! I think that's the first time in a long time that I've been home on a Thursday. Hopefully I can go this week though. I'm excited to be hitting the slopes again!

Another thing I am exited about: My month without sugar is almost over!!! :D I have SOOO missed my chocolate and ice cream! I will be done this Sunday, and I'm going to eat a whole chocolate bar!

Today my oldest brother had his first day working full-time with Answers in Genesis! Yay! Congratulations, Erik! He has been working part-time with them for a couple of months now, and to celebrate him going full-time we went to Pizza Hut yesterday! Yummy! I also made him some fudge because he loooves fudge. I had never made it before so I was afraid it wouldn't turn out right. It turned out quite well though. Too bad I couldn't have any!

Tomorrow is the first day of a new challenge! Try it with me - you'll like this one! This one isn't as hard though. It's called "Seven Days in a Dress," and is hosted by Simply Sarah-Anne. It's a challenge to wear only skirts or dresses every day for 7 days, and to do your hair differently each day. The principle behind it is learning to dress in a way that is feminine, orderly, and modest. I can't wait! I'm not a skirts-only girl, but I do love wearing skirts! It is quite possible to dress in a way that is feminine, modest, and neat wearing pants, but wearing skirts is also a great way to do it! Dressing modestly makes a statement to the world that a girl is not "for sale" and is set-apart. Now if you're not accustomed to wearing skirts, this might be more of a challenge for you. But try it! It really is a lot of fun, and wearing skirts is certainly becoming of a Christian woman, so it's so worth it! I hope you all will try it with me! :)

Well, that's all I have to say for now. I'll end with some scripture to ponder...
James 4:6-10
"6But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, 'God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you."

May God bless you in all that you do! Stay strong in Him!