Spotlight

I’m so sorry that this post is coming so late!  February has been crazy, so this is going to be one of those crazy, disorganized posts where I just go on about something.

What’s the something?  I’m SUPER antsy right now.  My roommate and I just went to get some takeout, and I was shaking the entire time we were waiting in line.  I’m singing in a coffeehouse tonight, and I’m really nervous.  Whenever I perform (with a few exceptions) I get really nervous beforehand and feel not unlike a nervously excited puppy, and then I’m completely in my element once I actually start whatever it is.

So in instances like this, I have to remind myself: It’s not about me.

I’ve written before about doing things for God’s glory, but the instance in that case was a worship song.  Tonight, I’m singing two songs, one of which is spiritual, but the other is basically just a fun song about summer.

I’m already calming down.  One of my mottos comes from 1 Corinthians 7: My “aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.”  Just as I should be singing for the glory of God in leading worship, I should be singing for the glory of God at the coffeehouse.  I should be doing my classwork for the glory of God.  I should be encouraging and fellowshipping with my friends for the glory of God.  May it all be for Him- every moment, every thought.  That’s my prayer.

May every crazy busy thing that I’ve doing for the past week be for Him.  That’s my prayer, and that’s my purpose.

I’m sure I’ll have to tell myself these things more than once tonight- it’s easy to focus on myself again when you’re staring at a stage.  I’m all-too-good at focusing only on me most of the time.  It’s something I’ll have to work on- starting pretty much now. =)  Have a great evening!

A Sad Little Offering

My apologies for what will be an unexciting post, but I’m tired and feeling a little off, so I decided it would be best to not attempt to delve into the topic I had originally planned.  I have little doubt that I would have articulated it poorly, which wouldn’t have been good. =)

When I’m feeling “blah,” as my dad described it, my favorite things to do are curl up in my bed, read a book (most likely something by C.S. Lewis or Louisa May Alcott), watch a good, long movie (my best friend quoted “The Sound of Music” in her Facebook status a couple of days ago and it’s been in my head since then), and/or sleep.

Sadly, most of these are not options when I’ve got an anatomy and phys test coming up and the only videos I’m watching are animations of muscle contractions and Adipose, my textbook, is demanding most of my reading time.

Since I’m sitting in my awkwardly shaped chair mapping out my schedule and to-do list and not snuggling in my bed, I realized that I’ve been singing to myself, perhaps to pacify myself.  Apparently I’ve been doing this since infancy.

My subconsciously-selected song of choice was “Captivate,” by Starfield.

You say strength is found in weakness,

Peace in incompleteness,

So why do I hold on?

You look for… beauty in the broken

… My soul’s screaming out to be found in You

Spirit, draw me to my knees

Captivate all of me, all of me

Here before You, honestly,

Captivate all of me, all of me

I’m all schlumped over in my chair, I’m pretty sure my eyes aren’t open all the way, and there’s a messy pile of papers next to me.  What a pathetic offering, I thought.  As the Psalmist said, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him?”

But for some reason, God loves the little messes that we are.  He loves us enough to die for us and to make us into something better, something useful; someone more like Him.  I think it’s particularly shocking to me right now since the best word to describe my current outfit is “frumpster” and I’m feeling largely inadequate and tired.  Like I said a couple of weeks ago, even when I’m on top of my game, or so I think, I’ve got as much control over the general scheme of things as tired, whiny me does.

All I have left to say is, thank You, Lord, for calling me to Yourself, and for loving me enough to make me something more.  May my life show that I love You, too.

Mumsy.

My days have been absolutely crazy, so I’m going to have to keep this post short, but I want to get one thing across: Valentine’s Day is a holiday.  Holidays, by no official definition that I’m aware of, are days to be happy, celebratory, or at the very least, relaxed.  (My personal exception to this is, of course, Halloween.  I can’t help having extraordinarily low fear tolerance.  I suppose I need to take my own advice and find a way to think of the day more positively.  Stay tuned for this October.)

Valentine’s Day in particular is so easily surrounded with drama.   Is he going to do such-and-such?  Will she like this or is it too cliché? Why am I the only person in the world (the hyperbole seems real at the time) that isn’t in a relationship?

One of the nice things about holidays, however, is that they’re not really about us (unless you consider your birthday a holiday).  They’re often commemorating someone or something else, and encourage giving and appreciating.  In fact, that’s a large part of what we’re called to as Christians- thinking of others before ourselves and giving.  So why should Valentine’s Day be different?

This year, I’m focusing my appreciation on my absolutely wonderful mother.

 

Mumsy, you’re such a huge encouragement to me and know me ridiculously well enough to help me even when I don’t ask for it.  The older I get, the more I realize all that you’ve done for me, from driving me all over the place to funding multiple retreats and camps to letting me keep you up way past your ridiculously early bedtime to talk in a very awake tone about just about everything.

 

It is an incredible, incredible blessing to have you as my mother.  You have been such a great demonstration of Christ’s love- forgiving me and cherishing me even when I’m quite a mess or talking about certain nerdy topics more than anyone ever wanted to hear.  I love you so much.  As I increasingly realize that I’m turning into you in a lot of ways (note the facts that so many of my Facebook pictures remind you of you and that I’ve started inadvertently acting as a salesperson in Trader Joe’s), I’m so honored to have such a godly, beautiful woman as my mommy.  Happy early Valentine’s Day!

 

For more of my Valentine’s Day thoughts, check out last year’s post.  Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and don’t hesitate to truly wish (or create!) one for others!

Sing a Quiet Song of Praise

“Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord, O my soul.

I will praise the Lord all my life;

I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Do not put your trust in princes,

in mortal men, who cannot save.

When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;

on that very day their plans come to nothing.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,

whose hope is in the Lord his God,

the Maker of heaven and earth,

the sea, and everything in them-

the Lord, who remains faithful forever.”


“Hallelujah” is on my mind tonight. I often come to this Psalm, 146, at times like this because the lyrics to the worship song “Hallelujah, praise Jehovah” come from it.

My current iPod wallpaper is a photo of me with some friends the summer before I started college.  Hallelujah, God has brought me this far.

I was daydreaming about what I would get as a tattoo if I ever got one.  I decided that it would be the words “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres; love never fails.”  I’ve known a love like this through Christ who died and rose again for me- hallelujah!

My daddy used to sing me different songs before bed, and one of them started with words similar to those in the Psalm.  I have an incredible support system; hallelujah!

The simple word is easily associated with a choir joyfully repeating it again, and again, but tonight I’m just sitting at my desk, feeling peaceful in comparison to the crazy that I can hear outside my window.

Even though this Psalm doesn’t actually use the word “hallelujah,” at least in my translation, it reminds me of the great hope that Christ offers and of all of the reasons that I have to praise.

I’m thinking, “hallelujah, to the Lord of heaven and earth.”

It’s the moments like this that I need to remember when I’m frustrated because I’m running late- again… When I realize a few weeks from now that maybe I’m in over my head… When I’m hyperventilating because I’m worried that this application or this test is going to make or break my life… When I’m jealous… When I’m hurting.

It’s my prayer that I’ll remember that my heart has just cause to be singing “hallelujah, hallelujah.”