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Sunday, November 24, 2013

ache and grace

it's so easy for this time of year to be painful. to be a reminder of all that's broken. in me, there's an ache instead of gratitude. but I'm pressing deeper into Jesus to feel the gratitude. 

because I am grateful.

I'm grateful for this life of mine. it's broken. and sometimes (a lot of times) life just sucks. but today at church as I wept at my awareness of brokenness and emptiness, I was surrounded by other believers who were there to pray for me and encourage me.

I'm grateful for getting to celebrate thanksgiving today with some of my closest college friends. and getting to spend thanksgiving with my grandparents. and getting to see my family. 

I'm grateful for being able to feel the pain. for being able to feel God's healing love. because He's healing me. He's healing the broken pieces of me.

so for any of you who are feeling the brokenness going into thanksgiving week, God loves you in the messy. in the broken. you don't have to be fake. God longs to be real with you and show you His deep, deep love. and His grace for your aching, shattering heart. Thanksgiving is sometimes simply a time of pressing into that grace and begging Him to feel grateful. because it's easy to be angry, bitter, and resentful for the broken. so I'm begging Him to make me grateful. because I'm not really empty. 'cause He's filling me up.

to make me feel more deeply His love, because ultimately, that's what I'm grateful for. love running over my cup, grace, pressed down, shaken out into my lap, spilling over. all of it, undeserved. and seeing His face look at mine with tender love. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

grateful. being still.

This fall has been quite a whirlwind. It is difficult to believe that there are only nine more days of classes, and then finals, and then Christmas break. 


Jesus has done amazing things this semester. I have been so blessed to live with my wonderful roommate, to learn more in my classes, to get to know new friends, deepen older friendships. 


I went camping over fall break at Hanging Rock with my friend, Brittany. It was my first camping trip without my family. We went hiking at Window Falls. Actually, we hiked down the trail, got into the creek, and climbed up the rocks in the waterfall. That night, we went and stared at the stars and talked for hours and listened to the wild dogs howling. We woke up in the middle of the night in a huge thunderstorm. I woke up pretty wet, and it continued to rain that day. Since I didn't have proper rain gear, we headed to Old Salem for the day to walk around. 





I have carved pumpkins with some of my best friends. Actually, I gutted their pumpkins and roasted the pumpkin seeds. 




I have gone for several beautiful, autumn walks with great friends on the greenway.



I am currently reading "Having a Mary Heat in a Martha World" by Joanna Weaver. It has been such a blessing and very eye-opening. My favorite quote from this book is 

"We live in the constant tension between 
the urgent and the important."

I'm surrounded by so many things that are urgent, but only one thing is truly important: seeking Christ in all things and knowing Him more deeply.  


So through this crazy, hectic, head-spinning semester, there have been amazing moments of being still before the Lord. And while the world is still flying at breakneck speed (and I am, too), I'm learning to keep the quiet, still peace of Jesus about me. I was forced to be still last week and the week before because I keep getting sick. And while that has been stressful on one level (seeing the work piling up and being incapable of doing it), I'm learning to rest when I'm supposed to rest. 

I'm so grateful for this semester. For what Jesus has taught me through it. For what I've learned. For the friendships that are so amazing. For a wonderful small group of girls seeking to learn more about Jesus. For interesting research projects. For vibrant colors of fall.