Morning Praise

As I was about to fall asleep last night (or rather, this morning) at 4am, I began to notice the sounds of the birds awakening outside my window.  I don’t know about you, but birdsongs make me happy.  It immediately made me think about all the verses in Scripture that talk about creation praising God and giving Him glory.  The birds are certainly whistling His praises right now–on and off–as a new day begins.

I’ve never had any desire whatsoever to wake up early and go to bed early.  I typically prefer to stay up until 12 or 1 and get up at 8 or 9.  But after hearing these bird whistles this morning I think I could definitely want to change my sleep patterns a little (well, ok, a lot).  Wouldn’t it be amazing to get up with the birds and praise God before everyone else is even awake?  Maybe it wouldn’t be at 4am, I’ll admit that’s a tad early unless I plan on going to bed at 8.  I have been thinking recently of the necessity of getting more sleep and moving my sleep schedule back a couple of hours, so this gives me a tiny reason to give it a go this summer.

While I’m on the topic of birds, I wish I knew what birds whistle which birdcalls.  My grandmother and my sister are good with naming birds, flowers, trees, etc… maybe they’ll teach me some of their wisdom this summer. 🙂

Side story: This morning it poured rain and I didn’t have time to take the tunnels to class.  Why not?  Because I slept until 10 minutes before class.  Anyways, I had no idea it was raining and so when I opened the door of my dorm building I was quite surprised–but also very happy!  For some inexplainable reason, rain makes me exuberant.  I can’t even explain it, it just does.  🙂  So, that was my wonderful Friday morning in the rain, wet, and thoroughly drenched, but also very cheerful.

Plus: it’s spring here now and all the flowers are blooming!  It’s the most gorgeous and glorious thing.  🙂  People complain about the smell or the pollen, but just look at the trees!  The trees we have on campus, … let me see… the 17 or so in the plaza plus the 2 or 3 by the student center and the couple inbetween that and the library are just so full of life and color!  Green, white, and pink!  I’ll try to remember to take some pictures to share with you all.

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The Defiant Daisy

The Defiant Daisy (Day 2)

[This is a post I wrote about a month ago, but forgot to post.  I plan on doing one or two posts next week, one will remain a surprise and the other is focused on specific Pro-Choice arguments and how they can be refuted.]

Last week some of my sisters decided to try an experiment that I remember doing when I was younger.  You cut a flower and put it in a vase (or cup) filled with colored water (food coloring).  After several hours the flower should have streaks of color (blue–in this case) on its petals.  I took these pictures two days into the experiment.  Now–almost a week into the project the flower is still almost completely white.  (My sisters informed me that it does in fact have a bit of blue, it is just so light and hidden that you have to search for it)  I named it the ‘Defiant Daisy’.  And then it *hit me.  I am often just like that daisy.

I don’t mean to say that I’m a flower.  So then, how am I like the daisy?  As a follower of Jesus, I should act like Him more and more each day.  Everyone I interact with should see Jesus in my words and actions.

But, in order to do this I must surrender every area of my life to God and I must read His words (Scripture) each day.  If I keep even a little part of my life for myself — if I say, “No, God, I know what is best for me,” I become like the ‘Defiant Daisy’.  Although I may think I have everything under control, I’m actually refusing the life giving “water” that I need to continue growing in my walk with the Lord.  Just as our flower needs water to continue to flourish (and yes, I know–it also needs sun and dirt and that this example is not perfect–but please bear with me a little longer), I need to have daily communication with God.  Whenever I leave God out of any area of my life, I hinder my spiritual growth in all areas.  He is always faithful in showing me what I need to surrender (or in some cases, re-surrender) to Him.

Recently (the last few months) He has used my church, friends, Teenpact, and many other things to convict me of how I use (or spend) my time.

During our adult Sunday School this past spring, we went through the Christian **Disciplines.  For some reason, I never saw “Being a Manager/Steward” as a discipline, but it is.  I always think of being a good steward as having to do with money and physical blessings.  I never realized it included the short time we have on this earth.

Maybe this is an obvious thing to you all, but it had not been to me.  I’ve always struggled with an addiction to computer games.  And I am very good at coming up with excuses on why playing them is ok and/or good. :p  I don’t know if gaming is a definite ‘good’ or ‘bad’ thing, but I do know that to spend endless hours on something is never a good thing.  We should have variety in our life.  Gaming takes that (and many, many other things) away from us.

In March, I quit the game I was addicted to.  That was a very hard decision to make and an even harder action to carry out (especially since I had to leave in stages and not all at once).  Then I became addicted to blogging.  Just kidding!  😀  No, then we went to a lecture in the park (by the same people who did the money lecture mentioned here) on addictions.  Simply quitting an addiction won’t help you.  You’ll just go on to get addicted by another one, because you didn’t get to the “root” of the matter.

The reason we become addicted to games, drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc. is because we think we will find satisfaction in them.  The addiction comes because the particular thing does not give us lasting fulfillment.  We find quick fulfillment, but as soon as we leave we crave more.

There is only one person who can give you true and lasting fulfillment/satisfaction.  His name is Jesus.  Did you know that God created us serve and worship Him?  When we do what we were made to do we find true and lasting joy.  Every one of us is unique, made in God’s image.  I’ve actually found through experience that when I serve the Lord and worship Him I am content, joyful, and just generally a more satisfied person than after I spend time on myself through games, books, etc.

My challenge to you is this:  Look at the different areas in your life.  What can you limit or cut out to make more time for the Lord?  Is something in your life becoming an idol?  Pray for wisdom as you search your heart.  The Holy Spirit will reveal to you the different things you should change.  It may be hard at times, and you may not be ready to give whatever it is to God.  But, if you think of all God gave up for us… it puts our things into perspective.

We serve an awesome and loving God, and I can’t wait to see what His plans for my life are!  For now I am called to serve my family, love my friends, and make use of every moment to help prepare and grow me for my future ministries.

 

* “Hit me” is an English cliché meaning “I realized” or “I thought of something”.

** Discipline does not just mean punishment.  The original meaning is akin to training for the olympics.  It is hard work, but you do it to become stronger and in the end it is worth all the pain you went through.

Our Morning Adventure

This morning around 9:15 am, my siblings discovered a large (~ the size of a toaster) snapping turtle in the middle of the road.  Right before this happened, my mom received a call from our food co-op that the truck would be brining our food shortly (within the next 10 minutes or so).  We had a dilemma… leave the turtle to be crushed by the truck, or attempt to move it without being bitten.  After the latter idea failed, we decided to instead stand in the road and wave down the truck whenever it arrived.  Thankfully for us (or the turtle ?), the spot where the turtle had decided to set up camp was in the middle of a long stretch of straight road.  The driver saw us, saw the turtle, and drove right over it !!   Although this sounds disastrous, it actually saved the turtle.  He hissed and snapped as the truck’s wheels rolled by on both sides.  Later, after our food order had been dropped off, the driver drove back down the road, got out of his truck, and moved the turtle onto the grass beside the road.

I decided to take some pictures of the turtle (and some neighbors Morning Glory flowers).  This is my first post with pictures… so if it is a little messed up (such as the flowers being in between the turtle pictures), please excuse me.  I will learn how to do them better for next time.

  

I love the turtle's face when he realizes he is being photographed 😀 (not a happy camper)