~ Lessons learned whilst sick on 12/13-14/16, #1: If you start having some nausea flashes and there's the possibility that you've recently been exposed to several sicknesses due to choir events in the midst of "sick season", that's not automatically a stomach-bug sentence. God may yet be merciful. (Seriously, though, I'm SOOOOO grateful that I didn't get a stomach bug earlier this week -- it turned out to only be a very low fever, sore throat, and two days in bed, which wasn't bad at all.)
~ Red carpet dresses are amazing.
~ I used to be rather incensed that Redbox replaced Blockbuster in our town, but I think I'm making my peace with it now. I mean, really, Redbox is convenient and the prices are pretty nice, so…yeah.
~ I'm halfway done with my senior year of high school! WHAAAA? It's pretty freaky if I dwell on it too long. How are the rest of my fellow seniors doing?
~ You know something God's shown me, dearies? Satan will stop at nothing -- n-o-t-h-i-n-g -- to try and stop you from following God's plan for your life. When he sees one tactic work one time, he'll come back to it. We've got to be on our guard, because his deceptions can take on oh, so many forms. "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14) He can tell us that that calling we've felt isn't God -- it couldn't be God, because it's not "spiritual enough." Or whatever else he can do to get us stuck and focused on ourselves and morbid introspection instead of moving forward, prayerfully and in faith, toward God. (For instance, he can convince us that cultivating patience in "the messy bits" of life -- patience when your family leaves dishes in the sink for the umpteenth time, patience when your car breaks down, patience when people are not acting rationally or quickly enough, patience when there's a new cashier at the grocery store, patience in whatever irritating circumstance -- isn't as important as some other "spiritual discipline" that is in fact only something he is trying to get you to focus on at the expense of what God has really been trying to get through to you.) I don't know all the ways Satan is trying to scam you, darlings. I know how he fools me sometimes, and I bet some of those struggles are the same for some of you, though. Those of you who, like me, struggle with perfectionism, works-based approval, etc., I hear you. Oh, boy, do I hear you. But the Lord has big plans for us, plans that are far beyond anything we can do in ourselves, but which He is more than capable of bringing to completion for the glory of His almighty Name. We can't let fear of doing the wrong thing paralyze us -- that's exactly what the enemy of our souls wants and exactly what the Savior of our souls does not want. Jesus knows how to sanctify us and get us on the right track, but we need to surrender control of it to Him. I recently saw a C.S. Lewis quote (I don't know from which book) that puts it well: "Remember He is the artist and you are only the picture. You can't see it. So quietly submit to be painted -- i.e., keep fulfilling all the obvious duties of your station (you really know quite well enough what they are!), asking forgiveness for each failure and then leaving it alone. You are in the right way. Walk -- don't keep on looking at it." Now, I'm not saying we don't take time to pray and consider and weigh the options and seek the Lord's guidance and the guidance of fellow believers -- we absolutely should and must. But we also should not ignore "the still, small voice." The Spirit is alive and ready to help us if we will let Him (John chapters 14 and 16). Christ has already conquered and He is doing His good work -- we must let it be carried on to completion in His time, not ours. We get so caught up in the desire for instant perfection that we forget that crucifying the flesh (including the pride and the self-sufficiency) may take longer than we wish it would. Another thing that I was recently reminded of (through a school curriculum, no less!) is that nobody bothers somebody who's not doing something extraordinary. But the moment you start branching out and thinking "maybe I can" -- well, then it is on. God is still able to find us, though. Satan may stop at nothing…but God will stop at nothing, either. Our Redeemer will do whatever it takes to save us and show us His truth. He knows what the real desires of our hearts are, and what's more, He's willing to change them if we want Him to. "Praise His holy Name!"
~ Here, our winter has been indecisive. I don't think we've actually gotten any snow (I haven't seen it, at least). One day it's what seems like barbarically cold, and the next day (like today) it's practically spring weather. What about y'all? (Or, for our Aussie friends, how's the spring/summer been?)
~ Lessons learned whilst sick on 12/13-14/16, #2: Being sort of sick is a wonderful excuse for binging Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. And October Baby. And Inkheart. And Katie Gregoire. Keep in mind.
~ Oh, speaking of, Katie Gregoire! Guys, THIS GIRL. Her channel is basically a guaranteed pick-me-up. She's a Christian, formerly homeschooled Youtuber who vlogs about many different things, and her videos are well-filmed, funny, and uplifting. (And her analysis of most of Christian romance = perfection.)
~ TOMATOES. For some reason, I saw a dish this morning that my mom uses sometimes when she makes us Caprese salads, and got a sudden craving for fresh tomatoes. (Actually tbh I'd been thinking about them before that…which is a little concerning…)
~ It's been a good couple of months, movie-wise. I should post about some of the new cinematic delights to which I've been introduced.
~ Wrapping presents sure gets you into the holiday mood, no? It just does. (But this works best if you're actually wrapping something -- not bagging-and-tissue-papering it.)
~ If you get a random idea to look up an album on iTunes, even if you've already looked through it and semi-decided what songs you want to buy, you should do it. Because if you do that and check the "Related" tab, you might discover a new, carefree, happy-inducing album from another artist (like this one).
~ Can we all just take a moment to appreciate some of the totally boss one-liners in Ivanhoe? "'By Heaven, Malvoisin, yonder girl hath wellnigh unmanned me.'" ~ "'Knave…thou hast broken my head'" ~ "'We should deserve to be stoned out of the lists; and I am not yet old enough to be a martyr.'"
~ THE MOVIE THE NATIVITY STORY. I know I mention it too often, but guys, THE NATIVITY STORY. (Hearts forever. HOW IS IT SO GOOD.)
~ Lessons learned whilst sick on 12/13-14/16, #3: "Cooper vs. Quinn" is a good episode. (You know how you love Horace & Myra and you know that Hank's and Myra's relationship wasn't/isn't healthy, yet you just want Hank to reform and be a good person and BE HAPPY and when Myra is walking the baby and comes into the saloon late at night so that Horace can sleep and then Hank takes the baby and soothes her enough to stop her crying and start her smiling and he's really sweet and doesn't make any sort of "pass" at Myra, your rational assessment of Hank's problems starts to go out the window?? Yep, that's kind of my life.)
~ Also, y'all, Hillsong Worship's new(ish) album, "Let There Be Light" -- awestruck eyes emoji.
Well, my dears, it's a beautiful life. 'Til next time! *blows kiss*