Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On humor and hatred

I spent the afternoon studying with two old friends. We've known each other since we were in junior high at least, and have kind of kept in touch. The two of them have remained really good friends and have that bond you only get with your best friend. I'm sure it's how Jill and I are when we're in the same room. But the one girl I didn't know as well has never liked me, and I've never really liked her. After not seeing her for a year, I figured why not start over? So I thought everything was going fine, but then our mutual friend told me the other girl still thinks I'm a mean, selfish person.

Apparently it came down to the fact that I'm sarcastic and have a very peculiar sense of humor around people I'm comfortable with. Most of my friends know that when I'm making fun of them, I'm really not serious. If I really get mad or think something that's not nice, I'll hold it inside and be extra sweet. So when I found out this other girl STILL doesn't like me, I was half incredulous and half upset. I don't see that I'm in the wrong at all! Really, she needs to get used to the fact that other people have different styles of humor than her. *sigh*

But Jesus is teaching me humility and I apologized to her for coming across as an arrogant jerk. I tried my best not to explain it away and instead, try to show her I love her as a sister in Christ. So our study sesh today was kind of an experiment for me. And we had a fantastic time.

Now, I'm hoping she'll let me know if she gets upset by something I say. And I'm also trying to keep my more "undecipherable" humor in check.

Ahhhhhhh life.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

And He walks with me, and He talks with me

Had a little chat with Jesus this morning. I have been so exhausted recently that I decided to stay home from the early service and go the the 5pm tonight. While my family was gone at service, I spent some time out on the swing in the back yard, just praising Jesus and meditating on some verses. I read Zechariah 7 and came away with some interesting thoughts.

First of all, it talked about the city's heart motive. Sure, they'd been fasting and praying but it wasn't for God it was because they felt like the had to. That struck me. I do that frequently. I've been afraid of people judging me for my faith for so long that I've swung to the opposite end of things. Now, I'll read my Bible in public but not to learn from it, just so people can see that I am reading my Bible and that I love God. In a way, it's better to read in a hidden corner and learn something from Jesus than it is to read in public and feel good that I'm a "witness".

The chapter went on to talk about justice which is, of course, very near and dear to my heart. I started thinking again about Micah 6:8 and realized something.

In Micah 6:8, we are told to "do justly AND love mercy". By very definition, these things seem like opposites. Justice is people getting what they deserve and mercy is abstaining from punishing someone for something they deserve. So I'm still thinking about how these two can live in conjunction with eachother. That's what I'll be thinking about this week. If you have any thoughts, feel free to share.

Heading to the 5pm service at Mars Hill Bellevue. :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

books, books, books

So I got my books today! Wednesday I went on a random "I need good books!" Amazon shopping spree and they came this afternoon. What's been added to Anna's shelf, you ask? I'd be happy to tell you!

First off we have Religion Saves (and nine other misconceptions) by Mark Driscoll

Even though I was there when this series was preached, I think it'll not only be a good refresher, but also a fantastic book to have at college with me!
Second you'll find The Radical Reformission (reaching out with out selling out) also by Mark Driscoll

I think the thing that caught me on this one was the subtitle. I'm excited to read it :)

Last, but certainly not least, is a book recommended to me by my wonderful friend Emily...Searching For God Knows What by Donald Miller

As I was ordering my two previous books that I knew I 'had to have' I got a notice from Amazon saying "if you add $2.11 more to your cart, you'll get free shipping". So of course I had to add one more book! I hopped onto Facebook and glory be, Emily just happened to be online and so I told her to give me the name of a book I really should read. And this was the winner.

So, even though I have absolutely no free time, I'm looking forward to reading these books soon!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ummmm...yeah! Not really much to report in Anna Land. I have two papers to write today. Working tonight. Officially joined the Explorers last night. First scene performance tomorrow. Did I write about how God has provided all the money I need to go to college next fall? Well, he has. Been doing some major room cleaning out. Darn. Looked at my assignment calendar--make that THREE papers to write today. Better get on that.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'll sing God is faithful

Last night's sermon was on Luke 6:17-36. I've spent the last several hours digesting everything I heard. I was very convicted by the fact that I tend to conform too much to the world and not have a strong enough backbone to stand up for what I believe. Also, I so easily fall into the back-stabbing that everyone else does. After the sermon, Pastor Chris said "if I asked any one of your friends or family if you're a Christian and they even hesitated before they answered, something's wrong." Yeah.....I think there would be some hesitation. So I'm praying for strength to always give glory back to Jesus and strength to stand when necessary.

Some questions I walked away with last night:
  • If everyone loves you something's wrong...So what do I do when I feel like everyone does? Am I just tricking myself?
  • Love your enemies. Sure. Why can't I think of any enemies?
  • Once you identify who hate you, how do you practically love them? How does blessing those who curse you look?
  • I know I should be forgiving to ******* because he's one of the people who has done me the most evil. I've tried but can't forgive. How can I work on that?
  • Jesus IN me.
  • Guard yourself against doubt.
One way God has shown is grace in my life is...
another $1,500 scholarship which means that I have enough $$ to go to Central next fall.
how He's been showing me that my desires to work in law enforcement aren't selfish and attention seeking.
peace in the middle of daily turmoil.
laughter with people I didn't know 6 months ago.
freedom from idols.
how He showed me that my relationships and friends have become far too important to me and that I need to re-focus on Him.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

rainclouds on the horizon

I had a wonderful talk with my friend Mary the other day and she made a comment about how she (as a Christian girl) didn't want to tell people she's dating a non-Christian guy because of how judgmental Christian people are. At first I was like "no way! We would totally love you no matter what!" And then I stopped for a second, and thought of MY initial response. Yeah, I definitely came off as a strong, judgmental person. My motives were in the right place--I just didn't want to see her get hurt by dating a guy she can't marry--but I have a hard time imagining how to love well...even through things that I disagree with.

Where's the balance between compromising on what you believe so that you don't seem "judgmental" and speaking the truth no matter what the cost?

I think that a lot of the Christian stereotype of being judgmental comes from the extra rules religious people add to the Bible. Don't pierce your nose. Tattoos are for rebels. Only sinful girls wear spaghetti straps. Dating unless you're planning on marriage is wrong. At least for me, though, I wish all of my non-Christian friends could know my heart. I LOVE Jesus. I can't imagine life without Jesus and the hope that I wake up with every morning. Things that I disagree with you on....I disagree because in my experience they just cause pain in the long-term. I'm not trying to be holy or better than you, I just really want you to live with as much joy every day as I do.

Friday, April 16, 2010

[insert heart here]

Just been ruminating for a few minutes. Thinking about how much hate there is in the world. Most of it's NOT caused by Christians, but yet they're seen as the most racist and hateful group on the planet. The other day, one of the girls from work told me that she thinks it's impossible for me to get mad. Another one stepped in and said "YEAH!" A few days ago at school, one of my friends said "you're just the sweetest person. You never get mad like I do. Sometimes I feel like such a selfish bitch." Yeah, and they all know I love Jesus. I wish I could just hit them over the head and say, "LOOK! Next time, before you start to make an assumption that someone is a hater cause they're a Christian, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU JUST SAID ABOUT ME!!!!"

I love love. In all senses of the word. I love investing in people. I love seeing fruit in other peoples' lives. I love being loved. I love when people call me up just to see how I'm doing. I love when people let me know they're thinking of me. I love facebook messages, texts, and letters. I love that it's a struggle and a daily fight to really love when I say "I love you" I mean it. And I'll do my best to show it in every way possible.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boldly, I set onward

It's my prayer that I can be bold. When I fall in love with Jesus every morning. When I can't help but see other people differently. When I notice myself changing, everything is amazing. I've started seeing my life in a new way. But when my teacher has no problem stating her opinions on gay marriage (she's lesbian) and abortion, and when all the other kids in my class talk about how religion in dating relationships only causes restrictions, I have a hard time speaking up. For one thing, it's 7:30am and I'm never totally alive that early. But I also really don't want to be the one who gets "the look" from my classmates and potentially graded down by my teacher. Argh.

I know I've felt the hint "you should say something" from Jesus once, but I mentally argued my way out of it. So my prayer is that I will have the strength to be bold and risk it all when He asks me to.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Be Near Me

I follow all the rules
Well, at least I'm trying
Hoping when my days are through
You'll be pleased

I've lived the longest days
Thinking my heart was so bad
Too scared to look in your face
Oh, if only I had

And is it alright
If I stay here all night
By the shoreline

I cannot believe you are angry or unjust
You've done nothing but have compassion on us
So be near me when I've given up
Be near me

I'm just like everyone else
We are all hiding
Acting like I have a wealth
Of knowledge and peace

But all I've ever wanted
And what men have given their lives for
Is a God who understands my weaknesses
A God that I can love

I believe you are good and righteous
You've given me your reckless love
So be near, be near..

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sucked In To Prayer

It's like a vortex. One of those strong pulls you can't resist (and don't want to anyway!). Once I start praying, a whole cascade of things that need attention come to mind. Although I have a hard time focusing, period, I have an especially hard time filtering out the extra thoughts and just sticking to Jesus. I'd love a group of people to pray with, but my cg does it on Friday nights, when I'm never available.

This week, something has really been put on my heart for bringing before Jesus. I know that God is faithful no matter how he answers the prayer. But I know He is great and mighty and can definitely answer my prayer in ways that I can't even think up. So I'm holding on to that hope and approaching the throne boldly.

Evidences of God's Grace:
Shannon buying me coffee
Good, solid runs
Amazing three nights of tips at work
Looking back on past evidences of God's grace and just marveling at how magnificently He works!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's a love-hate relationship

School! Ok, so for all the grumbling and complaining I've been doing about school and being tired, I still love school. I love going TO school. I love learning!! I think if I wasn't so stressed out about all the assignments and tests, school would be so much better. I love my friends at school, I love the friendships I'm creating. I love formulating and sharing ideas. I love being pushed out of my comfort zone. I love that for an hour every day, I'm taken out of my world and put into the world that my professor has spent years and years getting to know. I love the hustle and bustle of campus. I love mask work in drama class. I love singing with Julie, Cara, Sam, and the gang! So even when I complain about being tired, don't ever let me fool you. I really do love school.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Oh joy

Life in general exhausts me. I get up early and go to bed late and work super hard in that 17-hour inbetween space. I'm going going going all the time (that's partly my personality and partly just how many things I have to do) and get tired. And then I get "talked to" about how I don't ever clean up after myself (which is hard to figure out because I'm only home for about 3.5 of the 17 hours every not really sure what things I need to clean) and how my parents are frustrated because they think I'm choosing not to eat dinner with them because I don't like them or something.

I'm tired.

I've solved dozens of problems and run errands for people for the past 6 hours. 

School is draining.

I'm concerned about a lot.

I'm at the point where I'm ready to burst into tears at any moment--that's how tired I am.

The last thing I need is to be told that I need to add something else to my life.

I got something from Jill but I don't want to open it because I'm so overly emotional that just seeing "I'll miss you" or something like that written on paper will make me bawl. And that isn't me. So I need a little extra grace this weekend and upcoming week.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

For Jillian Bakke

I've been saving this for this day...

"Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can't believe the hopes He's granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long to live as friends.

With the faith and love God's given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you'll live in
Is the strength that now you show

But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

'Cause friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long to live as friends."

And I mean every word of that.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So far, so good

Alright. Day 3 complete. I'm starting to enjoy my Business class more and more every day. So that makes 3 out of 5 classes fun! Oceanography is still TBD and Research Paper will just be interesting I think.But that's okay. I can work hard. I'm not a quitter. I will survive this quarter!

Said goodbye to Jill today. I thought it would be hard and sad, but I guess when it comes right down to it, I love her so much that I'm happy she's happy. Even if it means she's leaving. It couldn't come at a better time for either of us. So have a great time, Jill! I'm glad you're blogging. I'm glad we have Facebook and Skype. And cell phones. Yay.

I got an e-mail today from the officer advisor at the police explorers. Apparently, the schedule changed somehow and so there was no meeting last week, and it shifted to this week. I've been so busy with school starting that I forgot to e-mail her after last week's lack of meeting and so I missed getting sworn in with Aaron. Darn. But I get to do it the 20th instead. Which makes me super excited!

I shall leave you with a verse:

But I trust in you, O Lord;
   I say, "you are my God."
My times are in your hand;
   rescue me from the hand of my
        enemies and persecutors!
Make your face shine on your servant;
   save me in your steadfast love!

Psalm 31:14-16

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

These good times are killin' me

For the first time in my life I fell asleep in class today. Well, I was only half asleep. But this schedule has me exhausted. It's almost 9pm and I'm going to grab some textbooks and jump in bed.

P.S. I have to say goodbye to Jill tomorrow. Sad story.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Going down, down, down in flames

Half way through my day. It feels strange to begin life at 7:30am again. Everyone is posting on Facebook about how great the first day of the quarter was. I'm not gonna lie. It sucked. I only had 2 of my classes, and I didn't even have my earliest one, but it still sucked. I used to think the first day of the quarter was the best because you don't have to DO anything or pay attention. Now I changed my mind. It's one of the worst days because you sit down, look at lists of things you have to accomplish in 10 weeks, and wonder how you're ever going to manage it all.

On top of school I just have so many things to do. I keep forgetting about the dodgeball tournament that my cg is creating and how I'm supposed to be heading up part of the PR team. Ug.

I had a chat with Caroline last night which was absolutely lovely. I've missed that girl so much. With my new quarter just starting, I'm hoping to get a new routine set which will involve regular time in The Word and in solitude, along with weekly Skype/phone dates with Emily and Caroline (and soon to be Jill).

Today I got to spend some time just looking through my Bible. It was kind of fun, actually. I've discovered over the past few months that my entire growing up life I've been taught to do certain things because that will make God love you. Not only that, but if you dare to deviate from "normal" you're obviously doing something wrong. Like reading the Bible. A person must sit down in a quiet place and read one book of the Bible, a few chapters at a time, and always get important lessons from it. After this reading, the person should memorize part of the passage they read. So when I just flipped through and read verses from Psalms and Titus I felt so......bad. (funny, feeling bad about reading the Bible) But one of the things I've been learning is how to liberate myself from being religious and making/following man-made rules.

Evidences of God's Grace:

  • time for a latte before I left
  • ice cream
  • no homework
  • Shannon Storm

Sunday, April 4, 2010


My little brother was baptized today. Praise Jesus.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Beauty in the Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
Upon which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it Lord that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ my God
All the vain things that charm me most
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His hands, His head, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

At the foot of the cross where grace and suffering meet
You have given me life in the death you bore for me
And you've won my heart, yes you've won my heart

So I can trade these ashes in for beauty
and wear forgiveness like a crown.
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
at the foot of the cross.

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!"....It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then, Jesus, calling out with a loud voice said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent!"

In the cross of Christ alone, I glory.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I would come up with some crazy april fool. But I don't have the heart to....