Tuesday, December 29

keep on driving, you're almost there...

...You can smell the sea salt in the air
Keep on singing those beautiful songs
They will keep you company when the ride gets long.

things here are about to change. prayers have been answered. i am moving to new york! life is in transition. more to come, but for now i must wrap up life in new jersey!

Monday, December 21

commitment, according to my starbucks cup

the irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. the act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. to commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

(anne morriss)

Thursday, December 17

simply embrace

tonight is going to be simple (:

first, watch this:
Music Videos by VideoCure

the simple power of a hug.

i wholeheartedly agree with those who say that physical touch can be healing. there are times where words seem to hold no meaning, where actions are pointless, but the simple presence and embrace of another person can be everything. a hug, in all its simplicity, can say so much.

all you need is love...

Wednesday, December 16

life, liberty and the pursuit of knowledge

(i originally wrote this november of last year but read it again tonight and was amazed at how much i'm still at this point.)

on my mind increasingly more lately has been a desire to go back to school.

i like to think that an intellectual and even educational environment is part of what defines flourishing for me.

but i'm having a slight hesitation deciding exactly what i'd like to study. a decision here will be followed by an even bigger problem of financial ability.

but... first things first - what does one follow up a bachelor's in psychology and business minor with?

there are a lot of subjects i think i'd like to dabble around in. i'd like to learn web design. and take more social and cognition psych classes. and possibly learn a little bit about journalism. and gain a better understanding of communications and PR. and i just started a book on philosophy that has me remembering how fond of my logic class i was. hello my name is sarah and i'm a student for life.

and of interest for a whole other blog is how very much i am holding a megaphone for the concept of a Renaissance woman... one who "is neither an expert nor a specialist. he or she knows more than just a little about "everything" instead of knowing "everything" about a small part of the entire spectrum of modern knowledge." (http://alexpetrov.com/memes/hum/renaissance-man.html). am i a product of my culture, feeling quite accomplished and proud of ourselves to know a bit about this and a tad about that? does God call us to pursue this kind of broader knowledge or should we live our lives trying to be the best we can be, know the most we can possibly know, about a more specific topic? just thinking out loud here folks (:

of course, my undergrad education would tell me i was learning how to be an independent learner (ok maybe add some english classes to that list) during my time at malone. unfortunately, like my waistline during the holidays, i've let my academic disciplines go and am pretty certain i need a structured environment within which to study and research and learn. at least for now. not that these last 3 years in the real world haven't proved to be full of lessons. but this is focused on the academic world.

which brings me to my next dilemma. (ok not really, but i needed a smooth transition!) the pursuit of knowledge is, in my opinion, a beneficent goal. but who, exactly, does it benefit? you? or the world around you? i don't want knowledge for the sake of knowledge. i want whatever it is i pursue academically to help me to be an agent of change in this world. to the people i am surrounded by, to the ways i live my life, to the way i understand and deepen my relationship with Jesus - to use knowledge to impact those around me and bring His Kingdom to earth.

also running on the mental treadmill is the question - just how do i take all these things that interest me, these things i have talent in and the things my heart is dreaming of and wrap it all up into one nicely adorned package? (and is my inital planning for grad school an attempt to have a fabricated control over this?) i'm just beginning to be somewhat ok with the answer - you don't. life's too messy to allow for this.

"for i know the plans i have for you"... plans to grow you and stretch you and allow you seasons so that all the dreams i also have for you may be accomplished during your journey. (translation from TCV, or the champ's version!) emphasis here on journey. i have an entire lifetime, no matter how short or long that may be, to explore, to pursue, to challenge and to learn. the key is in using any wisdom or insight i might gain, in school or beyond, to become a person who reflects more and more of the Jesus this world needs.

Monday, December 14

I'm still here

It’s the rainbow that appears when you’re fresh out of hope.
The gifts that come when you feel forgotten.
The kind, warm email from someone you didn’t think even paid attention to you, let alone the things that matter most to you.
The parking spot that opens up on a busy, crowded shopping day.

Each day God whispers softly to us, “I’m still here.”
Are you listening and looking for the ways He’s reaching out to you?
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in myself, my life, my thoughts, my way, and forget His promise to never leave or forsake me.
Undeservedly, He loves me every day. Yet sometimes I make this only head knowledge: God sent His one and only Son, to die, so that I can spend all of eternity with Him. Now, this is first and this is foremost. This is what life boils down to. God tells us He is love, and His sacrifice on the cross for us alone proves this. But it’s not just an eternity thing.
God is the Creator of romance. He is the author of relationship. When you’re in love, you think of ways to show the person. It’s important that they know you love them. You do things, you give things, you spend time with them, you try as hard as you can to make their life happier, easier, and more enjoyable. So why should we think God isn’t doing this for us here and now?
It’s true the Bible says that we will suffer for Christ’s name. I know this to be true. A relationship with God does not mean things will go the way we want them to, that people will always hold doors open for us or let us in front of them when we’re trying to pull out on a busy road. It doesn’t mean everyone we meet will like us or we’ll get the things we want. But it does mean that God will always be with us, and as long as He is with us, He wants to lavish His love upon us.
As cliché as it may sound, God wants to write a love story with me. He wants to surround me with true, unconditional love. He wants to show me what relationship really is. He wants to love on me and desires I seek out His love and open my heart and mind to His ways.
He’s still there. He always has been and always will be.
Will you choose to see and walk in His love?

Thursday, December 10

simple things thursday

another thursday is almost over! this week i am thankful for unexpected things... like winning this giveaway! before i gush about the lovely necklace i cannot wait to start wearing, i just need to say that if you are reading this post, you must check out sarah markley's. her words are inspiring, challenging, beautiful and real. sometimes i can find it hard to find God in the day-to-day. sarah's blog challenges me to see Him in ways i never would have imagined.

so i was both surprised and elated this week to see her name in my inbox yesterday right next to the words YOU WON! as a person who doesn't win anything... scratch-off lottery tickets, raffle nights, you name it... i had to thank God because being the recipient of these gifts was simply, to me, His way of saying 'I am still here. I haven't forgotten about you. I love you and care for you.' and i'm now anticipating some mail in the next few days holding Chris Tomlin's new Christmas cd and this necklace:

it's handmade by these lovely ladies and i can't wait to see it in person!

also unexpected was a phone call i received to set up an interview for a job i'd very much like to have. i'm trying to stay pretty calm and collected about it, but even getting an interview simply restores so much of my self esteem, confidence and drive to continue looking and pursuing this move to western new york! another way i feel God is just reassuring me to hold on.

simply unexpected.

Tuesday, December 8

victory over defeatedness

i came to the realization today that i am living in defeat. my thoughts, words and actions are the direct result of certain beliefs i have about myself. as i thought more about this, two things became pretty clear to me. first, that these beliefs are things that i have chosen to believe and, second, that they are false.

this understanding is only the beginning. i don't want to continue living my life simply with the knowledge that i am living under lies. i want to walk in the truths that God has given to me.

i spent some time praying that God would show me the lies and then fill my heart and mind with His truth...

i am not beautiful, nor will i ever be. i am fearfully and wonderfully made. (ps139:14)

my life isn't really amounting to anything. in other words, what the heck am i doing with my life? i am God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do. (eph2:10)

i will never be as good at/attractive/caring/witty/etc as so-and-so. each man has his own gift from God. . . God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. (1cor7:7 and 12:18)

i will never get over my niece's death. it is simply a loss. death has been swallowed up in victory. where, O death, is your victory? where, O death is your sting?. . . thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1cor54-55,57)

i am living my life in fear of the next 'bad thing'... the next bombshell... the next bad news... the next circumstance that brings pain. peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. . . do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. (john14:27)

i don't want this to be about feeling better because Scripture says some pretty good things about me or my life. my desire is that these truths will soak through to the core of my being, and that my thoughts, words and actions would be a direct result of truth not lies.

i am sick and tired of bearing the burden of lies.

i desire His yoke and His burden (matt11:30).

He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 3

warm simple things

on monday, after most people were bargained up, shopped out and headed back to work and school, i finally ventured out to the mall. and i think i actually gave thanks for the economic slump because ohmyword the deals are blowing right past black friday and seem to be getting better and better through the holiday season! despite all of that, though, i walked away monday with just one thing. (again, thank you to the economic slump...)

for $15 i said hello to a warmer winter:

a simple sherpa lined hoodie that not only looks good but feels good and will keep me good and warm all winter long. oh happy day!
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