Monday, December 6, 2010

Inexpressible and glorious joy

Unfortunately I do not have a recipe to share with this post. I have not been doing much cooking or really baking this semester. Life is slightly crazy and honestly a lot of the time I just don't feel like cooking something for myself. Although I have made chocolate white chocolate chip cookies quite often for friends :) I don't even know what to really call them but they are my fav and it seems that others really like them as well! So here is the post just in case you want to try them!
Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had this strange and random desire to write today. I really just want to share what's been on my heart and what life has been like this semester! I am going to be very vulnerable and I pray that there is a reason for my desire!

These past 4 months have been great and also hard in a lot of ways. My life has changed somewhat dramatically. Well dramatically because I am in college and if you know me, I pretty much make everything dramatic! The people I spend most of my time with is different and my living situation is different and well everything is honestly just different than the past two years and than I expected it to be. But that's the cool thing, it's not about our plan and I am just resting in the assurance that whatever is going on right now is up to the Lord and well it's perfect because it's his plan and he knows what he's doing!! I have been given the privilege to lead freshman girls in bible study with my friend Kristy. Who by the way has been such a blessing and I am so confident that God put her in my life at the perfect time and is using her in tremendous ways in so many people's lives, but especially mine!!
I get to spend every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:45-5:00 with my friend Melanie. We have so much fun together and I never imagined we would become so close. She puts up with my crazy stories, random laughs, frustrations, sometimes tears, and just how weird I am. Thank you Melanie, you will never know how much it means to me! I have also been getting closer to some friends back home like Gretchen! We feel so comfortable around each other and have been able to have such wonderful conversations every time we get together! I am looking forward to the growth and continuation of that friendship! She is precious :)

I found out early on in September that some things in my schedule had changed and it was possible for me to graduate early. I talked with my advisor and parents and decided that we would make this work! So July 2, 2011 I will officially have my undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech! Well my dad is always saying that we'll see and I'm not sure he's confident that I will make it, but I am determined! I have the opportunity to walk in the graduation ceremony in the spring and then will be taking 3 online classes during the first summer session. I am so excited! This means that grad school is in the very near future, like August! So this is really exciting but has become an extremely stressful and frustrating experience. Because I wasn't expecting to graduate I hadn't really looked into schools or done much to prepare for applying. I have probably looked at 20-25 schools trying to figure out where I want to apply. I have narrowed it down to 5; UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UNC Charlotte, College of Charleston, and ODU! Every time I think that I am finished with the application or have done everything I need to something comes up and there is even more that I have to do. I am starting to think maybe I am just not supposed to go. Well I'm just kidding, but seriously it is extremely frustrating. If I didn't know Jesus was guiding me and has a perfect place already in mind for me I think I would lose my mind.

So even though life isn't really that bad there has been a lot of pain and suffering that I have been dealing with. I miss my community from this summer and the joy and growth I was experiencing. I have really been struggling with having that inexpressible and glorious joy lately and it stinks. I want so badly to be that joyful all the time and I know I can, I have just been struggling to understand how. I would say that I am an extrovert  and a lot of times I feel alone. So for me it's hard to see that joy when I'm alone. I have been blessed with a fabulous opportunity to disciple an amazing girl named Alison! I really value our time together each week and can say that she is helping me just as much as I hope that I am helping her! We started reading this book called Dancing with My Father the description says, "How God Leads Us into a  Life of Grace and Joy." So it's pretty much perfect for how I have been feeling and I absolutely love it! Something I read last week really caught my attention and pretty much sums up how I want to feel. "I want to celebrate the inner reality of  his Spirit, rather than live as a victim of circumstances in my outward reality." So that's what I'm striving for! Spending time in the word even when maybe I don't really feel like it. Dragging myself out of the bed and doing something beneficial. Going to hang out with friends when I feel like just staying by myself and watching tv. I hate being lazy but love it at the same time. I feel so much more productive and excited when I am super busy. When I don't have much going on I find that instead of taking that free time and really using it wisely I really don't do anything beneficial.

I know that right now I am experiencing a frustrating season of life. But I also know that I am going to come out stronger and more prepared for what lays ahead of me. I am excited to see where God is taking me and especially where I will end up next year!! Life is crazy and you never know what is going to happen next, we aren't even guaranteed tomorrow. I want to live my life to the fullest and with an overwhelming and contagious joy and peace. I am very thankful for my wonderful friends and family who support me no matter what and try their hardest to understand where I am at and how to encourage me :) Life is always good and it is impossible to truly have a bad day when you know Jesus and have eternal life!!

Psalm 16:11 says, "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

All I need to do to experience that joy is to rest in the presence of the Lord! This is extremely comforting but not always easy! But that's what I will continue to strive for and be excited that NOTHING can separate me from the love of Jesus Christ!

I want to share this song that is super comforting to me!!

P.S. I am absolutely loving my new favorite pandora station: Justin Bieber, Luke Bryan, and Meredith Andrews!

And Kristy and I's sweet bible study girls :)

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