Monday, April 28, 2008

If you were wondering...

If you were wondering how much a single shrimp would cost you at your local grocery store...the answer is about 15 cents. I know this because I was fortunate to witness one of the most hilarious events in my life....someone purchasing a single shrimp in the express lane at super fresh. You may have had to have been there....but I need to write about it because it might just be one of the funniest things I have encountered in my 22 years of life.

Mantra for the day: Life is too short NOT to be silly

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.
-Benjamin Franklin-
In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.
-Albert Careb-

Thursday, April 17, 2008

...Just The Way You Are

God has this amazing way of using people to speak for Him.

Yesterday, a good friend of mind said to me..."Mandy I'm not sure where this came from, and it may be irrelevant, but I'm supposed to tell you that you are good enough."

After this, I went on a rant to another friend that I wanted so badly to learn to play the drums or guitar so that I could be "cool." He must have sensed the undertones of inadequacy communicated in that sentence. He turned around and said something along the lines of, "Mandy you have to stop thinking like that. You don't need to do that stuff to be cool, you are fine the way you are."

I live in America, where it is so important to "get ahead" and to be "at the top." I have to admit that I fall into this trap time and time again. Whether it's my appearance, my personality, or my talents, sometimes (a lot of the time) I just don't think I measure up.

This is a lie.

A big



I feel for people who experience this oppression in their lives. I know what it's like to chase and chase annnnnd chase things that you think will make you "better" in one way or another.

What I'm pursuing right now, fervently, is the truth in all of these lies. I know it to be true (mostly intellectualy) that God, the Creator of all things, loves me through and through for EXACTLY who I am. Now I need to let this sink deep into my heart, into the core of my being.

How much easier would life be if we just accepted ourselves for who we are instead of fighting to become what we THINK we need to be?

This is the Truth that God is offering us. He really did mean it when He said,

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."--Matthew 11:28

I need to drop this heavy load of unacceptance.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Growing Pains

I think sometimes I avoid doing “hard” things like I avoid the plague. Actually, I don’t think this, I know it. Don’t you ever wish for the “easy” life? Imagine you’re at work, school, etc. and things are just really busy or stressful or challenging and you start daydreaming about being on a beach somewhere without a care in the world.

Or sometimes, you look at people who may not be trying to live a “Christian” life and think they’ve got it easy. They don’t need to worry about reading their Bible everyday, or making sure they are in God’s will all the time, loving their enemies, or even waking up for church on Sunday morning.

I read an article this morning that really hit me hard. Here’s the link…

It talks about the fact that we are SUPPOSED to be doing the hard stuff. Walking with Jesus is not easy. That inspires me and scares me at the same time. The article says that God wants to see us grow up. He wants to see us mature. But how do you do this without growing pains? The answer is…you can’t

There are so many unanswered questions in my life right now. Sometimes I find myself experiencing discontentment because I want all the desires of my heart given to me and all my questions answered RIGHT NOW and I don’t want to work or wait for it. But what would be the reward in that?

This quote from the article jumped off the page at me…
Our big, crazy idea is that this is the life God has called us to live now — not 10 or 20 years from now, but right now, as young people. This is your best life, not your easiest life; the only way to avoid wasting your single years and ultimately your life.

My discontentment is useless. My avoidance of doing the “hard” things is hindering. And as I sit and reflect on times in my life that I had to persevere through some really difficult things, I remember that the end result of that trial was a HUGE growth spurt.

Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering.... The love of God did not protect His own Son.... He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.
--Elisabeth Elliot

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hurry up?

"You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life." Imagine for a moment that someone gave you this prescription, with the warning that your life depends on it. Consider the possibility that perhaps your life does depend on it. Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. Hurry can destroy our souls. Hurry can keep us from living well. As Carl Jung wrote, "Hurry is not of the devil; hurry is the devil." Again and again, as we pursue spiritual life, we must do battle with hurry. For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them.
--John Ortberg from "The Life You've Always Wanted Spiritual Disciplines For Ordinary People"

Huge issue for me. I always hurry. Always. Especially right now with the end of the semester coming up, I have like a million loose ends to tie. A project here, a paper there, and a lesson plan well...everywhere (the life of an elementary ed major). This quote came at the perfect time. After I read it, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and felt the tension in my shoulders loosen.

Today's Mantra: Sloooooooooooooow Down :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Whip Me Up Some Character

Last night at Campus Crusade (for those of you not familiar, it's a Christian organization on college campuses) I got some great insights on building character. Not just character, but Godly character.

We looked at a bunch of verses:

Proverbs 1:1-7

Psalm 1 and 51

2 Peter 1:5-7

John 15

Galatians 5

Romans 12

Our speaker did a great job of communicating the fact that there is clearly a lot of great information in the Bible on what Godly character is and how to build it. But can I be honest and say that sometimes all this talk of goodness, gentleness, self-control and the like stresses me out? I think it's because I don't feel like I've got it all. I am far from what the picture of perfect character (Jesus) would be. That's frustrating when your striving to be more like him...ya kno?

Then our speaker gave a great illustration of how this character is built. Think of a good recipe. You don't add everything at once and just stir it up right? Sometimes you have to mix things in separate bowls, cook something and let it cool, let things sit overnight, etc. Just like a good recipe that turns into a delicious treat...character takes TIME to build. It doesn't come all at once, it comes at the right time and when we are truly seeking God's heart.

Like it says in 2 Peter 1:5-7, make every effort to obtain these qualities. God will do the rest, and you will build them in due time. He is not only the author but the FINISHER of our faith, he WANTS us to be whole and complete. Now we know that we won't be perfect until we have left this world, but know that God is working on your character every day. That realization really gave me hope and made me excited.

Think of yourself as a good recipe...working toward that final product.

I think I'd be apple pie :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Get Your Pray On

So I used to talk to God (pray or what have you) and wonder if he was listening and if he was, was he planning on answering? My prayers may have been God-centered, but my heart was doubtful. Thank goodness He is beginning to change this. Check out these verses:
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14-15).
''Have faith in God,' Jesus answered. 'I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, "Go, throw yourself into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins'" (Mark 11:22-25).
I have seen these verses many times, but finally God decided it was time for a new revelation and change of heart. I now BELIEVE them. Because of this, my prayer life has dramatically changed! After I am done praying, I am able to thank God for listening and thank him (in confidence) for answering my prayer according to his will for my life. My prayers are now more "powerful and effective" as the Bible would put it, because of my confidence in God's promises to hear me!
Sooooo with that said....FYI...May 1st is the National Day of Prayer! It was started by the National Day of Prayer Task Force. This is their mission statement:
"The National Day of Prayer Task Force's mission is to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, mobilizing the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church and Family. "
If you plan to participate in this day, just remember, God HEARS you and your prayers can be POWERFUL and EFFECTIVE! exciting :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

laugh it up

Reasons why you should be laughing every day:

  • A good hearty laugh can help:
    -reduce stress
    -lower blood pressure
    -elevate mood
    -boost immune system
    -improve brain functioning
    -protect the heart
    -connect you to others
    -foster instant relaxation
    -make you feel good.

So hang out with those people that lift you up and make you laugh!

And if you need some MORE laughter, you should come to Comedy Night at Christ's Church of the Valley in Royersford on November 14th...we are featuring Michael Jr., check him out...he's hilarious! Here is a link to his website, there are some videos on there of his standup.