Thursday, August 20, 2009

With arms high and heart abandoned

Can I just say that God is incredible? Because it's true. :) I can say for the first time in a long time that I am consistently reading my Bible and spending time with God every morning. It's the first thing I do when I get out of the shower. Well I get dressed first, but you get the point. I make sure that I allow at least 15-20 minutes for me to read and spend time praying. Let me tell ya, I can tell a huge difference. My attitude in the mornings has been so much better. I don't struggle as much throughout the day with stuff that just drags me down. And my view on life is more God-focused, like it should have been all along. Let me tell you how all of this came about. WARNING: it could be and probably will be somewhat long...I apologize, haha.

As many of you are aware if you read my blog at all, Louisville and I haven't been best friends since I moved up here. I'll spare you the details of why, but it all reached the boiling point last week. I was packing to come back to Louisville after a week off from school, and it had been a great week- time in BG, time with close friends, time at home- I really didn't wanna come back. I was leaving home and was in a horrible mood. Instead of putting my iPod on shuffle like I normally would do for the trip up I-65, I played my worship playlist like my momma suggested, and my mood improved drastically in the 40 minutes from my house to the apartment. That night, I decided that I NEEDED to start reading the Bible daily. It was the one thing that I was missing, and every other area of my walk was suffering. It's always been a weak point for me. Even while being discipled by Matt Haste, teaching 8th grade Sunday school, and serving in multiple postions on BCM Council, a daily quiet time wasn't something that I did. In fact, it was rare. And while I knew it needed to be a priority, I pushed it aside with everything that I was involved in. Everything else was masking how much I really needed the Word in my life. Getting a dose of it on Sundays and at Bible studies throughout the week ain't enough people. Anyway, when I moved to Louisville and left all of that behind, the holes started to show themselves. I had filled them with my list of activities for at least the last 4 years. When I did attempt quiet times throughout college, I would last maybe a week, if that. Then it was back to my routine. When I moved, I didn't have Living Hope and BCM stuff to keep me occupied when I should've been reading my Bible and spending time with God. I didn't have a church home or a community of people to support and encourage me. To be sucked. I felt alone, I was angry and frustrated, and I really didn't like living in this city. So...after my drive back to Louisville, I decided that on Monday morning, I was getting up at 6 so I could have time to read and pray. And I did. Tuesday, I did it again. And again on Wednesday, and...let's just say I haven't missed a day since then. I love it. I just picked a book of the Bible at random and decided on Acts. I'm reading a chapter a day, journaling about what I read and what I got from it, and spending a few minutes in prayer before and after. God is so good people. Each day He shows me something that I need to work on, and I'm learning. God is showing me, using the early church, where I need to grow, where I need to step up, where I need to just let Him take's so awesome.

I just think it's cool how God grabs hold of us when we think that life just sucks. I'm not gonna say that I hit rock bottom and that life was miserable, but for the first time in a long time, I really felt pretty low. Isn't so cool that it's in those moments that God grabs us and holds us close to Him?? When we finally realize that we NEED Him, He's faithful; He always is regardless. Life is good right now, even if school is getting tougher everyday...but that's a completely different topic all together. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Look at the stars, look how they shine for you...

I'm pretty sure I could look at the moon and the stars all night. Especially during the summer and fall. They're always amazed me. There's just something about a full moon against a backdrop of midnight blue and shining just blows me away. Late at night I'll often go out on our deck when I'm brushing my teeth and just stand there in awe. And I love it in the late summer and fall when the moon comes up and its orange as iit rises over the horizon. You don't really get a lot of stars in Lousiville. Oh, I know they're there, but its hard to see em all because of the city lights. I love being at home, because it's such a big difference. I love being out in the middle of nowhere even more because there are no lights for miles to obstruct your view. If you know me at all, you know how I love that the skies reveal God's glory for all to see. It's another one of those instances where I think to myself, "How can you not know He's real?" I love Psalm 19:1, where it says the glory of the Lord is declared by the skies...not exactly word for word but you get the general idea. People have known for centuries that God uses His creation to show Himself to us. Some of the moments where I've felt closest to God have been when I'm alone in the solitude and quiet of a field with nothing but a breeze, crickets, and a blanket of stars. I wish people could just look up and see that and believe, but sadly that's not the case. And sadly, I usually don't do my part in helping them see God's glory like I do. That's one of my weakest areas of my faith- sharing what I believe with others. It's something I've gotta work on. I want to, I really do. I'm just hesitant when it comes to opening up about what the Lord's done in my life, although I shouldn't be. I know deep down that God will provide the words to say, but that usually isn't enough for me to go ahead and do it. A lot of times, my lack of faith is greater than I like to admit. That's just something me and God gotta work out together. A little prayer from you guys never hurts either. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Escape to Kings Island

I love Kings Island. I went yesterday with Allison, Tyler, and Mitch, and we had a blast. Seriously, probably one of the best days ever. It was really crowded, but the longest we had to wait was an hour for one of the rides, and it didn't even feel that long. The weather was great, the company was great, as usual, and the rides were incredible. I haven't been to Kings Island in 4 years, since the summer after I graduated high school. They've added some new rides, which were awesome, and they've changed ownership. They were owned by Paramount, so before all the rides had movie themes and the theme songs played while you waited in line. Now its owned by the company that owns Cedar Point, and while there are no more awesome theme songs and some rides have new names, the quality is top notch. But anyway, let me get back to telling ya about my escape from reality. :)

I love roller coasters. So I was pretty excited when I got there and saw the new coaster Diamondback. It's massive, and fast, and awesome. By far one of my favorite coasters. You get some quality air time on the drops, and its such a smooth ride. That definitely got the adrenaline pumping.

Firehawk was an awesome ride too. We waited in line for an hour to ride it during the afternoon, and it broke. We waited while they did repairs, and a lot of people gave up and moved on to other rides. We wanted to stick it out because we got so close to the front when they all left, but after an hour, they still had no idea how long it would take to fix it. We decided to get out of line and ride other rides while we could. And what do ya know, 5 min after we left the line they started running it again. We kicked ourselves for a while. But it all worked out, we went back later and got to ride it 10 min before the park closed. It was awesome. This coaster puts you on your back for the ride up the hill, and as you go over the top, you flip onto your stomach and it you ride the coaster on your stomach, as if you're flying. It was awesome...definitely one of the stranger but coolest coaster experiences ever. And totally worth the wait.

We also got brave and did the Xtreme Skyflyer. You know, the one where you strap into a harness and they pull you over 150 ft. into the air on a cable, and you pull the ripcord, and you freefall until the cord catches and then you soar over the park?? Yeah, we did it, and it was awesome. It was the biggest adrenaline rush ever and totally worth the 10 bucks we paid for it. They were running a can you pass that up??

And of course you've got your classics like The Beast and The Vortex, and you've the the stomach-in-your-throat, 315 ft. tall Drop Tower and the oddly relaxing but thrilling Delirium...there are a ton of rides to quench your thirst for a thrill.

So in conclusion, rollercoasters, great friends, and perfect weather...yep, it all adds up to a great day and a great way to spend part of my break from school. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Get out of the way

To say it's been a while would be an understatement, haha. These last few weeks have had me pretty busy, so my apologies for not posting regularly. I guess I should update ya'll on what's been happening in my world...

The first month of dental school has flown by. We're already in the middle of our week long break, and we were all VERY ready for it to be here. We finished last week by taking our second gross lecture exam and our first lab practical. Our practical was 51 questions over our 22 cadavers we had been working on for the last 4 weeks. On top of scrambling around and trying to get ready for gross, we started our second class, Dental Anatomy/Pre-clinical Operative. We've finally started learning about the teeth and we actually got to start working on our first cavity preparations. In other words, we started drilling on molars...fake teeth, don't worry, haha. It's gonna get a little tougher next week when we start our full schedules, but it should be fine...I hope. :)

I had to go back to BG and close out my apartment at College Suites this past weekend. I'm not really sad to leave the Suites thanks to the great management team they have there..................but I'm not here to vent, haha. I am gonna miss my roommates and living in BG, as I'm sure you're all aware of. :) I went down to visit last weekend as well, and I've been able to go back to Living Hope these past 2 weekends. I really miss being a part of that church. I got to see my 8th grade guys that are now freshmen in high school (they grow up so fast, haha), and I got to go to the church picnic they had Sunday night, and that was a lot of fun. I got to catch up with Matt and Cheye and some friends that had graduated a couple of years ago. The whole time, I kept thinking to myself "Man, Living Hope keeps raising the bar for churches in Louisville." But then later on, I realized I shouldn't be thinking that way. I know that there is a church in the Ville that God wants me to be a member during my time there, however long that may be. God has a plan for me to get involved in a church like I did at LHBC and He will grow me and use me there just like he has in BG, and I know I'll love being a part of what He's doing there. I can't limit God because I love being a member of a church in a town I don't live in anymore. I can't limit God period, but you get the idea, haha. As much as I love BG and as much as I would love to move back there someday, right now, God has me in Louisville, and BG may or may not be in His plans for my future. So, please pray that I will continue to seek God's will in Louisville, and that I won't let myself get in His way. God is the same no matter where you go, and that's something that I need to keep in mind. :)