Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Freshman Fifteen!

This probably isn't about what  you were guessing from the title...  ugh, I could talk about that (cry) for hours. Anyways! Wow, my freshman year of college has been over for nearly a month! I honestly cannot believe it. What sealed the deal for me was watching my best friend graduate high school the other night. I remember that exact feeling I had, a mix of nausea and euphoria, based off of uncertainty, excitement, nostalgia, and fear. Sitting in the bleachers, I could not believe that a year has passed since I was saying goodbye to what I thought would be the most fun and influential years of my life.
    I was strangely surprised with how well I handled it this year; I think the past semester has taught me so many huge lessons about my identity (probs a post later) in Christ and in life and everything that I have to look forward to in my life ahead.
    Buttttt, basically, I just want to emphasize how much has changed in me this year! I originally going to make a list of a bunch of lessons I had learned (lists help me handle life), and share my new, educated, elderly wisdom! But I kinda realized I'm not a guru, or Oprah, and maybe my list would be faulty, or not apply to you. So here's one that will. Fifteen verses that impacted me, stood out to me, and helped get me through this year.  Throughout the year, these are the ones that jumped off the page at me during Bible studies, that sum up my feelings and struggles throughout this year, that others pointed me towards, or that I happened to share with others.  So. I figured God's word might be more beneficial than my own! (hey! one of my lessons from this year!)

1. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:12-13)

2. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. (Philippians 4:12)

3. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

4. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have... but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

5. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phillipians 4:6-7)

6. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

7.Fear not, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great (Genesis 15:1)

8. Exactly as I planned, it will happen. Following my blueprints, it will take shape. (Isaiah 14:24)

9. Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades but the woman to be admired and praised is the woman who fears the Lord. (Proverbs 31:30)

10. Love is patient.. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)

11. Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race set before us... Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. (Hebrews 12:1,3)

12. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

13. If you don't take your stand in  faith, you won't have a leg to stand on . (Isaiah 7:9)

14. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

15. Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom a senf you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord... Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. (Jeremiah 1:7-9)

love, p.b.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Be Fearless!

Don't you hate it when you are completely mad at yourself? You do something that would cause you to call out your friend, if they did the same thing, and you realize you are not practicing what you preach. My friend wrote me the sweetest note at the beginning of the week, about how she loved how I always tell people to "be fearless." Mostly, it's because I totally adore Taylor Swift, but I also absolutely love the title she chose for her second album. It means so much to me.  When I think of being fearless, I think of having so much confidence, not caring what other people think, and doing what you want with no regrets.  Basically, this summarizes how I want to live out my life each day. 
 In some aspects, I'll admit, I'm completely fearless.  I'll go on a roller coaster, travel to Africa, talk to strangers, run half marathons, kill bugs (ahem, taylor schmidt), do things people never expect I can do, and dream of nearly impossible things.  Things like that just don't scare me.  But after reading my friend's note, I've realized how often I am completely paralyzed with fear, and how lame it is for me to try so hard to push others outside of their comfort zones.  The things that scare me might seem little, but I realized this week just how much I hate being un-fearless when they come around. 
Additionally, God knows my fears and he knows how to comfort me in my struggles.  Yesterday He showed me the most perfect quote for my week, on a friend's blog:

"Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.
Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you.

On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clich├ęs, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.
Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.

But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing."
-David Foster Wallace
And for everyone who loves Glee, I literally have been playing this song non-stop for the past week, and it goes along with my little theme:

Aaaaand finally, to wrap things up, here's what David, Paul, King Lemuel (thanks Google), and Taylor Swift have to say on the topic:

Psalm 56:3-4
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Proverbs 31:30
Charm can mislead and beauty still fades, but the woman to be admired is a woman who fears the Lord.

"To me, fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. " -Taylor Swift

(and yes, I draw this on my wrist almsot everyday, it's whatever. I'm not weird!)