Im a lucky girl. This is my life. Somedays I just need to let that sink in, because its so, so easy to loose perspective. To get hung up on the things in life that get you down. The other day I was sharing with a friend about my life, and I almost started tearing up, because when I actually spoke out about my life, I realized how privileged I really am. It actually is quite an honor to be doing life with God, and for him. The peace I feel with my life, the things I get to do, the people I know, and the love that is in my heart makes me feel so incredibly blessed. It truly is the little things in life sometimes, that make our life worthwhile. I am beyond blessed, and I hope you realize you are too.
A funny thing that sometimes happens, is that we don’t always get our own way. I hate that, but then again who doesn’t? Your crazy, or you are lying if you hate those moments when things don’t go your way. Recently I have been realizing that this happens to me often. And I think I know where it comes from. Selfishness. There is just something in my heart that, if things don’t go my way, or I don’t get what I wanted I react. I mean probably everybody does, but my reaction goes unnoticed. You would never know, because the way I re act is shutting down. I shut down inwardly, or I get quiet, or whatever. It sucks because I know I am being selfish. Somedays God whispers in my heart “Olivia, get over it.” And most of the time thats exactly what I need to do. I need to get over myself, my interest, what I wanted to happen and just go with the flow. Everything these days is me, me, me, or I, I, I. That’s so wrong, and its so selfish. Its not about me, and some moments, and some days I constantly have to whisper that to myself. Maybe your finding yourself in a similar spot, just remember its not always about self, theres a little more to life than that.
Since the day be as fitting for it, I would like to take this entry to tell you about my mom. She is a special lady that much I can say in words. I am not exactly sure where to began, because you see how can I even type into words the kind of person that my mother is. She truly is one of a kind, and the best kind at that. Well I suppose I will start. My mom’s name is Janice. She is about 5’6 and has beautiful brown hair. I wish everyone in the world could meet her, and know her as deeply as I do. She has the most outstanding character of anyone I have ever met. When you first meet her, she is shy, kind of reserved, and could quite easily blend into a crowd. Although she seems that way at first, she is nothing of the sort. She has a kind of quite confidence about her, that demands respect. She knows who she is, and she isn’t worried about trying to prove who she is. She has mothered five children and even though she has made mistakes and bumps a long the way, I can testify that she was meant to be a mom. Some people are meant to be doctors, or police officers, or teachers, but my mom, she was meant to be a mom. Now she probably wouldn’t say that about herself, but thats mainly due to the fact that she is way to hard on herself. One time I was asked to describe one of the most influential people in your life, and I described my mom. The funny thing is all the attributes I said about her, lined up with all of the fruits of the Spirit, just in different words.
Another thing I love about my mom is that, anybody feels at home when they are around her. You can’t help it. I love that. She is so compassionate, again she wouldn’t say she is, but she is. She has a good balance of compassion and justice. My mom is very open about her mess ups and mistakes at least to me, and I admire that. They say parents who are more open with there kids about their weakness, tend to produce better kids. I think I can testify to that. Mom has those kind of mom instincts too. Ya know, like where she knows that somethings wrong, or that you just lied to her. I don’t know if she was born with them or what, but she’s darn good. Anyways, I could go on and on talking about how great of a women my mom is. How she has a perfectly clean house (which she doesn’t) or how she has upstanding character. But I would rather tell you about the Mom who has inspired me deeper in my faith. The mom who every morning wakes up and prays with my Dad. The women who still likes reading her Bible after all these years, and who constantly lives out a Godly example of a Women. Not perfect, but a working progress. My mom has believed in me, when I didn’t even believe in myself. My mom has listened to me, when no one else has. My Mom has cried with me, and laughed with me too many times to count. She has pushed me, and disciplined me, and taught me more than I could ever thank her for. But ultimately my mom led me to Jesus. In the basement when I was five years old she prayed with me to except Jesus. And then for years after that modeled what it looks like to love Jesus with all your heart. Thats my Momma. That’s the women that I want to be like someday. Her faith and her love have been the cornerstones to my life and I am grateful to God that he gave me her as my Mom. I love you Momma.
I open my social networking sights and its obvious the season that is so rapidly approaching. Graduation. I remember those days vividly. They went by faster than I thought they would. They were hard days, and yet such exciting days. But as I have been reminiscing on those last days of my high school career, a few thoughts came to mind that I would like to share. More than thoughts though, these are some steps to take as this first chapter comes to a close.
Don’t ever turn down sunday afternoons with your mom and dad and little sister. Treasure those moments, because they won’t last forever.
Take joy in the small details of life. Getting to class on time, getting a B plus on your English paper, getting rides to school from your mom.
Don’t take things, circumstances, or people for granted.
Write it down, log it. These memories you make, the people who impact you, and the choices you make (good or bad) you will forget. Make a way to remember. Because trust me you will want to.
Spend a litte extra time with your younger siblings. Fight less, talk more. They will be in your shoes someday, and you may not have the chance to be there for them. Be there now.
Learn, and learn and keep learning. It doesn’t stop now, learning is a life long lesson.
And last treasure it all in your heart. I have so many memories of beautiful moments from my high school days. With friends, family, during sports, at school, in youth group, at summer camp and so much more. I would give anything to go back into those moments, relationships, and details and relive them. They were that good, they were also that short. Don’t be afraid to take every day as it comes, for what it is. Life is hard, but the good things make it worth it.
Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want it to. Often it ends up looking nothing like what we would have imagined it to be. Probably more times than not life goes differently then what we expected. If you know anything about me, I find stability in plans. If we don’t have a plan I freak. Also something about me is that I hate change, which makes since with why when plans change I go crazy. I would like to say that I have learned to love change, and not care about plans, but that would be far from the truth. The good thing though, is that I have come a long way. I see that I have. These days when life doesn’t go the way I thought, it knocks me down for a few seconds, but after I collect myself I get back up. I have often heard the verse in Proverbs used over and over again that says “a righteous man may fall seven times, but he still gets back up.” Maybe thats talking about hard times, but maybe its a little simpler. Maybe, just maybe, life crashes right in front of that righteous man’s eyes, and even though it knocks him down, he knows that he knows that he knows that he has to get back up. Doesn’t sound like anything I would want to sign up for, but I think the most important lessons we can learn about life, are in the times when we are on the ground. When all of our plans, our ideas, our dreams have fallen right beside of us. When things turn out differently then we wanted or expected. Its in those few minutes of collecting ourselves when we decide whether we are going to get up or stay on the ground. My mom and my favorite author both say the same thing that rings truer than true to me. They say that “things always have a way of working out.” I suppose things tend to work out. And I truly believe that. So the next time you find an unexpected surprise from life and you find yourself on the ground, don’t be afraid to take a moment, just as long as you aren’t afraid of getting back up, and remember; everything works out.
I don’t know when this whole writing process began for me. Somedays I feel like the new kid on the block, completely clueless, and having no idea what I am writing about. Other days I feel on top of the world. Like Im somebody when I write, and like everything just makes sense with words. Needless to say I don’t know ABOUT writing. I don’t have the most refined skills, or have an English major from Berkley. But I do know one or two things. Here are few things about writing that I do know:
1. It makes sense
2. Its a process that goes something like this: erase, write, erase, write (or) type, delete, type, delete repeat
3. Its messy
4. It is absolutely necessary/crucial to be real when writing
5. Just like a picture paints a thousand words, your writing tells a story (be willing to stand for the story you tell)
Somewhere around my 15th year of life I decided to write some poems, not knowing that it would be the platform to something that has become so important to me. Writing is a huge part of where I process. I write things that I can’t even speak into existence, but somehow thru writing I can. I love that it is something that I love too, that always helps. Its not always easy for me, words come pretty easy for me but communicating them is a different story altogether. I am grateful to be able to write, and even though I am no where near my full potential in it, I know I can be someday. Anyways that’s all the thoughts for tonight…
My topic for tonight is that of friendship. I suppose I should have some sort of biblical backing on friendship and Proverbs comes to my mind right away. It says ” a friend loves at all times…” Thats pretty straight forward. Its simple. That’s the thing I love about friendship, its simple and yet deep. Its messy and yet orderly. Its hard, but its worth it. This past couple of years I have had some really solid friendships, and some really rocky ones that failed miserably. I think the key to friendship is among many other things security in yourself. Most people would say trust is the root of relationships, and I would agree. But what I am suggesting is something that goes a little bit more personal. Trust is a two way highway, whereas your identity is an individual thing. What I mean by this is you can only control your end of the relationship correct? Well what about the mistakes, the un met expectations, the co-dependency, and all the other messy parts that come along with two insecure of themselves beings. And Ive been there, we all have. Its easy to fall into. Its easy to become so romanticized in another human being. But it also brings about much heartache. Now don’t go putting walls up on me, but seriously. Be the kind of friend you want to have, but even better be the kind of person that God wants you to be. Be you and that will lead into wonderful and healthy simple and yet deep, lasting friendships I do believe.
This morning I gathered together for a morning of community worship. I went in to it like a normal Monday, tired and wanting rather to be in my bed. Things went a long and it was good, though I didn’t really feel super connected to the Spirit. Toward the end though, it turned into a really emotional spin. In fact I almost walked out. First, I must preface this by saying I am probably one of the most emotional beings you will ever meet, and thus I am all about the expressing of emotions. But for some reason it was driving me crazy. Like I said I wanted to walk out. For some odd reason I was just highly critical of those who were overcome with intense emotions. I guess for me, I have been there before, lots of times in fact. I know what it feels like to experience Jesus in such an emotional way. But now, its different. I see it and wonder, “will they still love God when they aren’t balling on the floor?” And maybe its bad on my part. Maybe I am being too judgmental and overly harsh, which isn’t necessarily typical of me, so I don’t know. But what I do know is that as much as my emotions are a part of me, they can not be the driving force. I can not encounter God through tears and sobs, and then go out and not know the God of the Bible. If we just live off of our emotional experiences of God, we will always, always, always be left wanting more. We will be left not fully satisfied. Because just like any relationship there is more to it. I want to know the Jesus who can handle my melt downs in worship, but can also give me a kick in the butt when I am being selfish. I want to encounter Jesus through going on a walk outside, or seeing a person in need through the way He see’s him. I want to taste all of a relationship, and not just one part. I have never been this girl who wants more than emotions, but I thinking I am becoming more of a balance. These are just my thoughts. Please hear my heart, and I don’t mean any of this personally, its just some things to consider…
Yesterday’s Post, becomes today’s thoughts.
Since September of the start of this year I have been asking God a question. A question that I have longed for and waited for the answer to. Unfortunately or fortunately he hasn’t answered it yet. But you know what, I think thats okay. You see yesterday I think I may have realized that I have been asking the wrong question. The question that I have been asking is ”whats next?” I was talking with a dear friend and he reminded me of the truth that God places us in families for a reason. He places us in families, and then starts molding us as individuals. I remembered the truth of this, but then he continued on and said something that made me wonder if I was asking God the right question. He said something like “we need to not ask Jesus where we should do life at, but start asking Jesus who we should do life with.” Its simple, and yet profound. And for me, I realized the question that I really long to be answered is “who should I do life with?” Because life is about who we are in Christ, and who are is directly connected with who we associate ourself with. You know the old saying, “you are who your friends are” never rings truer here. So my heart is slowly changing its question around.
“STOP ASKING JESUS WHERE I SHOULD DO LIFE AT, AND START ASKING JESUS WHO I SHOULD DO LIFE WITH”
At least one day a week for the past month there had been a day of frustration. I don’t know if I can nail the exact reasons behind these frustrations, but I can tell you when they come, they come like waves, and boy are they strong. Honestly I have gotten so frustrated. With people, with situations, with my life, and even with God. Its so not like me, thats the thing that I don’t understand. I for the most part am a pretty chill person. I have become a lot more even killed in the past few years, and so most things slide. But lately nothing has gotten by me. Man, I feel like such an ugly person on the inside. So selfish, insecure and over all frustrated…Honestly I don’t have a lot more words to put down here, but the other night I was talking with a friend and we ended the night praying. I started crying tell God how I felt and he knows the frustrated state I have been in. With tears forming in my eyes I said the scary words of “God whatever you want me to do next, whatever step it is, I’ll take it.” And you know what, thats the beautiful thing. God can still speak to me even being all caught up in the temporal and in the foresight of things. For me, I think I am realizing that additional frustration builds in my heart when I loose perspective. Because perspective is everything. It can make a starving kid in Africa grateful that he has a shovel to dig up roots to eat. Perspective can make ugly, actually look pretty appealing. Perspective puts things in a light of positivity, and thats really what we all need. I encourage you, no matter how frustrated you may be in this season, (just like me) gain some perspective. Take your eyes off of self, and the current things and see the bigger, the beautiful and the blessings…It changes things, I promise.