Sunday, January 18, 2015

I called, You answered

"I called, You answered. And you came to my rescue and I want to be where you are."
Came to the Rescue - Hillsong United
The sermon in church today was on Genesis 35:1-4:

God said to Jacob, "Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau." So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with them, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone." So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem [emphasis added].
The word of the day was relentless. God is relentless! I am so thankful for this: that He doesn't give up on those he has chosen, no matter what. Have you ever considered how sinful Jacob was? How manipulative and deceitful he could be? He received his brother's blessing by dressing up like him and covering his arms with fur! And yet God chose him and chose to use him in His plan. I am so thankful that God chooses even the most sinful of people and loves them.

Of course, God doesn't just let me forget the message when church is over. I have been listening to Hillsong United while I study and the song Came to the Rescue came on. God will come to our rescue if we cry out to him. I do want to be where you are, Lord! Draw me close to you.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Love Your Enemies

Luke 6:27-36 English Standard Version (ESV) 
Love Your Enemies 
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

This was in my Bible reading for today, and I was reminded how difficult it can be to love my "enemies". I would not say that I have any enemies, persay, but there are definitely those who are more difficult to love because of the way they have treated me or others who I care about. There are also those who, because of my own weakness and immaturity, annoy me. I do not always want to be kind to these people. I would rather ignore and avoid them. It is easy for me to feel good about myself for being kind or gracious when I give to my friends, pay for a meal, or forgive a friend or family member for a slight wrong. But these are easy, and as Jesus says in this passage, "'If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.'" I want to be merciful as my Father is merciful, and kind as He is kind. I want to love those who might never love me in return, simply because that is the kind of love and mercy that God shows us daily.

It is my prayer that through Christ I can grow in generosity, in kindness and in love.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday?

So I've started wearing some makeup recently. I bought some for Grad Prom and I figured I might as well get the most bang for my buck. People have totally noticed and pointed it out, saying that my eyes look pretty. Which has made me think.

I am thankful that my mom did not and does not wear makeup. Just a quick note before I go on, I have nothing wrong with mothers who do wear makeup, I probably will, but this is just something I have thought about recently.

My mom is a beautiful woman. I am proud to say I look like her. We have the same nose, the same smile, the same eyes - hopefully mine are as twinkly as hers! Slight differences include that I have a bigger forehead, gap teeth and a crooked smile. (While these sound like bad things, I actually tend to like every single thing mentioned. I think they add "character".) But overall, the comment I get most from women in my church and family members is that I look like my mom. And that makes me happy. She is beautiful.

And yet, she has never worn makeup. I think she told me she wore some on her wedding day, but that's about it. I grew up never hearing my mom say that she had to put on her face, or that she couldn't go out because she didn't have her makeup on. There was never a time when I was given the impression that my mom was not good enough just the way she was. When I hit high school, I started wearing makeup like most everybody else. I loved the mascara, the eye shadows, the lip gloss. I would be lying if I said I never wished my mom could teach me what to wear - I mean we have the same face, it would have made life so easy. But that wasn't Mom. Mom just looked like herself every day, and still does, from when she gets out of bed to when she goes back to sleep at night.

I think for me, this taught me that I don't need makeup. I don't need to look a certain way. It presented the idea to me that I am enough, and that God made me beautiful just the way I am. I love that my mom didn't wear makeup because it taught me this lesson. I know that's not why my mom doesn't wear makeup. I don't think she had some master scheme in never wearing it (if she did, then bravo, Mom, you accomplished it), but I do think it has affected who I am today. I didn't wear makeup except on special occasions for the past couple years, and although I have been recently it is not because I don't think I'm pretty or that I don't think I'm good enough. It's just because it is fun.

As an added note, I do not think that wearing makeup is bad. I am not at all trying to say that you should not wear makeup or even that you should stop wearing it for your children. I know that especially in certain fields or lines of work, women are looked at rather strictly. If you don't wear makeup, you could be seen as "not caring about your appearance" and if you wear too much you could be "fussy". There are a lot of things in the world that make wearing makeup necessary. And sometimes makeup is just fun. It lets you accentuate features that you love about your face. I love my eyes. Sometimes I like to accent them with eye shadow and mascara. What I took away from my mom's lack of makeup is that we should not hide behind it or begin to think that our own faces aren't good enough.

Anyways, my mom and sister have been doing "Thankful Thursday" blogs, so I thought I'd join in since I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

By the way? New picture, wearing makeup. Decided to take a selfie the other day. :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 14 – What I wore today, in great detail

Okay, here goes - this is a super boring one, but the thing says I have to.

I am wearing blue jeans (they're new! I got them right after Christmas. Yay for owning more than two pair of pants!). They have slight fade stripes on the thighs, which I'm not crazy about, but they're comfortable and they fit. And they are of thicker material so they are warmer for the winter. Overall win. With them I have paired black boots which go to just below my knees (super comfy, faux leather, flat, everything a girl could want) and a black t-shirt and tank top. Sounds boring. So much black today! But at least I'm wearing a purpley-pink scarf I bought at Payless. I love this scarf. It's soft, warm and pretty! And then I have two bobby pins in my hair. Typical.

Yeah, so now you know what I am wearing. Did you care? Probably not.

Update on Snow

It is raining and 56 degrees out. The snow is gone. I am crying.

(That last statement is an exaggeration. But a brown winter!? Come on CT... you can do better.)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snow, Studying, and Slacking off

There is officially snow in Connecticut again! When I walk outside I now have to watch my step because, much to my dismay, my winter boots bit the dust right at the peak of winter. I love the snow though, so I am glad it is here. Otherwise it would be an ugly, brown winter, which frankly isn't my thing.

I have been trying (that's the key word here) to study for my prelim which is coming up in just a couple of weeks. However, I completely fail at studying at home. I am way too easily distracted by my TV, my computer, my dishes.. That's right. I would rather clean than study when I am at home. It's a dangerous thing. And with the snow storm that was predicted for Thursday night into Friday, guess what I did? I stayed home. Disaster. Yes, I did get some dishes done. Yes, I did bake some banana bread. Yes, I did read a chapter of my algebra book. But I should have gotten so much more done! Ugh.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm really cut out for this business of math grad school. I mean, come on. For anyone who knows me, you know that I absolutely hate studying. I LOVE math, but I hate studying for it! It is pure torture for me to try to read a chapter of a math book when I know that I have to. I sit at my desk and read a page, then stare longingly at my laptop, then read another page and then stare longingly at... just about anything that is near me. But then... I remember why I like it. Math is so interesting (I know not everyone agrees with this; I'm not completely unaware of the general disdain for my favorite subject).  I mean, even learning about greatest common divisors fascinates me. So maybe I can make it through grad school... I'll just have to keep reminding myself that even though it is called studying and I hate studying, that what I am really doing is learning about something that does interest me. And for this winter break, that thing is Abstract Algebra. So... I bid you adieu and return to my chapter on Polynomial Rings after which I will then move on to Module Theory. But before I go, look at the nice little white board I bought so I could work through proofs while I read! This way I won't waste as much paper!

Don't forget kids - Math is fun!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Day 34 - A picture of my favorite morning

So, this picture doesn't represent a specific morning, but rather a morning that occurs every year. This is probably a typical answer, but...