Friday, January 3, 2014

Bon Voyage!

                    "I am blessed because God gave me life."

These are the words I read in my letter from my nine year old sponsor child. I was floored. Everyday I have something else to complain about. I'm tiered, I don't enjoy my job, Its cold, its hot, I'm not eating healthy, I'm bored, and the list goes on. The bottom line I think I'm not blessed enough by what I'm given. And there was this little girl who barely has enough to live on, works when other kids play, and lives in dirty conditions in Haiti considered herself blessed to be alive.This hit my heart. I thought of all the people my age I have know that have died, and how many times I hear of someone dying from something other than old age. I thought about how fragile our bodies are. 1 bullet from a gun could end my life. So many people die from accidents. That's something they weren't intentionally doing. Shoot, I've had the flu before and felt like I was going to die. I'm healthy, but my body doesn't recover from work outs quite as quickly as it did 4 years ago. Our lives are so fragile! All that is keeping these bodies going is a heart. And yet I have one that works really good. How blessed am I to have life?!  With a life you can do something! You can make a difference in the world, and make a mark on eternity! You can learn new things, and experience new things! You can love and be loved. With a life you can do ANYTHING!

So 2014 is about me not taking advantage of my life, but taking it by the reins and riding it hard to see where it take me. The journey that we go on this year will take me to an awesome place, but its the journey I'm going to really enjoy. I will savor every moment, even the unexpected obstacles. and challenges.

One thing I want to do is have more faith for things. 2013 I had very little faith. I believed almost nothing would happen unless I (or someone) caused it to happen. I didn't look to God for help, or believed much in his ability to do anything until I was desperate, and even than...I had pretty shaky faith. That sickens me. Because the fact is that with God anything IS possible, and I believe to be an active(real) Christian you have to continuously be looking for opportunities for God to shine his glory and his goodness! I want to be on HIS TEAM! I want to see signs and wonders following me around because I believe for them! I don't want to see things the way that most everyone else sees things in my life. They see things and are afraid. They see things and see a dead end. I want to see things like Jesus! With Jesus, there is no dead ends! There is ALWAYS possibilities! Even problems become opportunities! From now on I'm choosing to see things like Jesus. And to anyone who knows me I ask you to PLEASE help me with that when you get a chance. 2013 the devil stole my joy. 2014 I'm taking it back! Its time to life to the fullest!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Savannah's Guidline's to a Drama-Free Life

I recently picked up a copy of Seventeen magazine for the first time and discovered that its not such a bad influence on young girls as I was always lead to believe. It diffidently shares little of the mindset of Christ, and I wouldn't recommend it to my teenage girl, but the magazine actually has some pretty positive and empowering things in there for girls. I read and browsed through it for an hour, and inside I found messages shouting out to young teenage girls such as, be confidant! You are beautiful! You are unique! Pursue you're impossible dreams wholeheartedly because anything is possible! and if you haven't kissed anyone before, you're NOT the only one. 40% of girls your age have never been kissed. One article written by a young movie star, Chloe Grace Moretz, on Friendship Rules to Live By tells of all the rules and precautions she takes when choosing her friends and setting herself up for a drama free life. Being someone who sometimes feels like shes the only person in the world who has a drama-free life, and looking at the media and seeing nothing but drama, I was quite curious, as you may be, as to what she had to say. These are her rules:
  • Pick people who make you better.
  • Create cool friendship traditions
  • Guys and Girls can be friends...but don't hook up with your BGF.
  • Figure out you're deal breakers.
  • Don't give second chances.
  • Always stand up to bullies
  • Sometimes secrets are okay.
  • Make sure family comes first
At first these sounded great! And then I realized I have always had a drama-free life and I have never lived by any of these rules. I realized that all her rules do is kick the drama out rather than create a place where drama can not live or even come to in the first place. Her rules are all things that sound great to the world, but this is not at all what Jesus tells us is the best way. When love is the basis of your friendships drama wont even be able to enter your circle.
Here is Savannah and Jesus' version Chloe Grace Moretz friendship rules.
Pick people you can loveLooking back on all my friends I have ever had, I have never picked someone for what they could do for me. I've always picked friends who seemed to me like they needed a friend. I never go to the popular kids who its seems everyone likes, wanting to be their friend. I've always chosen the person who is by themselves. These are people whom I know will usually receive the love I give them, and most importantly the people who need someone to love them; the ones that need to know that they are loved.

"He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to
the blind,
set at liberty those who are oppressed"
Jesus - Luke 4:18
Guys and girls should always be friends...If you discover that you are in love with one, and feelings are mutual, hook up.Not as catchy as Chloe's version, but diffidently true. If you are looking for a serious relationship (in my opinion its dumb and immature to look for anything else), than you better be best friends before you get into a relationship. I've talked to so many girls who have told me how they don't know if they should get into a relationship or not with a certain guy, and they have only known each other for a couple months. I always tell them there is nothing wrong with being friends. Especially if you're not sure if you want to pursue a serious relationship with that person or not. Friends is actually a GREAT place to be. This is you're opportunity to simply get to know that person without any pressure or expectations that might come along with "being in a relationship". If you can simply be best friends with a guy for a good amount of time than maybe you could live the rest of you're life with him. If you can't do that, than don't even think about "being in a relationship". It wont end well.
I was friends with my boyfriend for 1.5years before we officially became "in a relationship", and even after that, nothing really changed, except we had an excuse to spend much more time together, and do more things for each other, and say cute romantic things to each other. We didn't even call each other "boyfriend" "girlfriend" for nearly the first two years, and even now we don't really like to do it. Because we're just friends. Even now after over 2 years of being in a relationship I can rejoicingly proclaim that Andrew is my best friend, and I wouldn't want to go on the adventures of this life with any other than him!  And this isn't something just me and Andrew share. I have seen and talked to and read about countless couples who claim they have married their best friend, and would prefer to call their husband for 40years their "best friend" rather than their husband. Guy friends are always a blessing, and if you get an eternal best friend out of one, so be it. Its an even bigger blessing!
Don't have deal breakers&always give second chances
Jesus always shows us unconditional love. His friends were liars, thieves, drunkards, prostitutes, tax-collectors, and stinky fisherman. He trusted a thief with money, and a betrayer with his heart and his life. No, things didn't end up to well for Jesus because of this...He got beaten, embarrassed, and crucified (to put it lightly), but in the end it was worth it. In the end the love which he loved his friends was stronger than their weaknesses, sin, and mistakes, and His love set them free. No you're not Jesus, but Jesus lives inside you, and the same love that saved and healed the whole world is inside of you're heart, and with that love anything is possible!
The bottom line: You're friendships aren't for you, its for them. If people have to come to you to be your friend on your terms, you will have some problems.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them."
Jesus - Luke 6:32
"Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Jesus - Luke 7:47

Always love bullies
I honestly don't really have any experience with this, so the only thing I will say here is what Jesus said.
"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked." Luke 6:36
Always be there - no matter what
Everybody needs friends who will not choose themselves over their friendship. Everyone needs a friend they can count on. Everyone needs friends where if they are in trouble, have a problem, or they need help, that friend will do anything within their power to be there for them, and help them as best they can. YOU CAN BE THAT FRIEND! Its easy! And the fact is if your heart is to be there for them and not at all for yourself, your friend will know it. They will always trust you, it will be much harder (if not impossible) for them to get mad at you, and you will rarely ever fight. How could you when your first priority is to be there for them?
Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Jesus - Mark 12:31
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." A disciple of Jesus - 1 John 3:16
"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." A disciple of Jesus - Romans 12:10
The bottom line is love. The only reason that drama ever happens is because someone wasn't loving. Someone was being selfish and thinking of themselves before their friends and family. You have to come to a place where even if you poor your heart out for someone and get NOTHING in return from them, you are still going to love them, and be there for them. Of course I wouldn't recommend such a relationship (but that's between you and God), but to have that mindset where you don't expect anything from that person, and what's on the front burner of your mind and your heart is to benefit your friend's life no matter what, is the place you want to get to. That's called un-conditional-drama-free love. And its easy when Jesus - the name of that love - is inside your heart.

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Disiple of Jesus - Romans 12:18

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Adventure Framework - Summer 2013

 I have long postponed this blog, and now to my regret, for there is much to tell. Most of the time I dont even know whats going on in this adventure I'm in, so I've not know how to tell of it. But let me at least give you the framework. :)

To begin, I will speak of Andrew and I's adventure to the UK! It was a grand adventure, indeed. We came back with many more memories to cherish, a couple a pints in our bellies, a new found patriotism, and tired bodies. We saw many awesome sights throughout Scotland and Ireland, experienced the culture and the amazing history. We ventured to Loch Ness in Scotland, rode the Underground in London during rush hour, kissed the Blarney Stone in Southern Ireland, and climbed to the top of Crough Patrick in the north of
Ireland. We met many awesome people, talked to sheep, saw many beautiful and amazing sights...including the Cliffs of Moher(some of the tallest sea-side cliffs in the world), Ben Nevis(tallest mountain in Scotland), and the rolling green hills of Ireland.
Some firsts we had was hitch-hiking("thumbing". as the locals called it), staying at hostels and B&Bs, and driving on the left side of the road.

Overall, it was a rewarding experience that helped us broaden our horizons and perspective on our lives. We came to the overwhelming realization that we LOVE the USA! and are very proud citizens. Not to say that the UK was bad, because we enjoyed it very much, but as far as living somewhere (as far as our experiences have led us so far), no place can compare to the USA. :) We have a lot more to offer here.

Crowne Plaza Cabana in Palo Alto, CA
And now that we're back, we've been working our butts off! Andrew has been working on marketing for his house-flipping company and the company they are partnered with, and I have been working for the past month. I got a full time position as a PBX Operator/Front Desk Clerk at the Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel in Palo Alto, CA. Its been challenging but fun for me. Probably the most challenging part is learning to communicate and relay information with the guests in a professional manor. This is the complete opposite of what I learned at Winter Park. We were taught to be polite, but laid back, friendly, and real. One thing I'm learning, though is that I can be all that in a professional manor. But its challenging for me. Especially when the guests are uptight and demanding, and don't speak good English - if any. However, as far as jobs go, this one is the most perfect one for me. I fit in well with the position and the people I work with. They are all so amazing and beautiful people, and a pleasure to work with and work for.

The apartment I was to get didn't end up working out after all, so I've had no choice than to move in to Andrew's parent's house, where he and his family live, for the presant. Its been fun, although a little strange because, except when I am working we are with each other all the time. And I wonder "is this the 'wild' adventure that God told me about?" Cause I would certainly believe it if it was! Its been a lot of fun. We've diffidently had our challenges, but we've worked them out, and its been fun! Its strange because it feels like we're married only we've never have sex (omg, I just said the "s" word in my blog!). That's something I really want everyone to know, though. Most people assume that if you live together that you're also sleeping together, and I want to let you all know that that is something we both really want to save for marriage. Its been hard, especially now that it seems we're married in every other way, but its not even an option for us because we've made up our minds that that's not an option. [MORE ON THIS IN BLOGS TO COME]

I'm considering taking a few classes at Foothill community collage in the Fall. I have applied and been excepted. I would be taking writing, drawing, and watercolor classes if I did.

This is the frame work for my current adventure. :)

And in the midst of all this, love is fighting for my attention and my heart....