Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Sweet Sacrifice of Surrender

Yesterday in our leadership meeting with the BCM, my friend Cindy said something that really convicted me. She said, "I just know that wherever I am and however long I live, my life will be poured out for the glory of God." I almost started crying when she said that. Ever since high school, that is the way that I have also felt. But this past year of college, particularly this past semester, has been extremely difficult for me. I know I wouldn't have gotten through without the grace of God.

I started to feel sorry for myself. And I think that in my pity party, I forgot the beauty of a life lived for Him. I lost track of what it meant to live completely with my eyes focused on God's glory. It seems that the "theme" of this year for me has been sacrifice. Everything I do seems hard, and I almost feel like God is telling me, "This is just practice for what is to come". That has been so difficult for me. I don't want to sacrifice. My flesh doesn't want to give up. But I know that I have to. Jesus calls us to come and carry our crosses. We are to do the hard things, go to the hard places. And I have felt for years now that He is calling me to some very hard places.

When I was in high school, I struggled with things that seemed big to me at the time, but when I look back I see that they were just small struggles--getting over a crush, deciding where to go to college, and making small sacrifices. Yet I think that those small struggles have helped to prepare me for the greater struggles. I don't want to fight. My flesh is weak, and I would rather give in. But I have seen God be faithful in so many small things, and I know that He will continue to lead me in the big things as well. I don't know where He is leading me, but I know that I must follow His call to come and die to myself.

Thanks, Cindy, for helping me remember that! :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I'm going on Missions!!

Since the beginning of this year, I have been making plans to go to the Czech Republic this summer. My cousins have been working as missionaries there since January, and I am going to stay with them for a month and help them out with things. I'm going to be working some in the office there as well as helping them with things around the house, taking care of their kids, or whatever else they need. I think I finally have most everything finally settled. I will be leaving really soon (depending on ticket prices for the best date) and I will be there for a month. I can't wait!! :)

On a completely random note, this morning I was looking at some cooking websites, and I have so many things I wish I could try. I wish I had the time to cook more!! I babysit at least once a week for a family with two kids, and once the kids are down for their naps or in bed for the night I am always "creating" something in the kitchen. I don't usually get time to eat anything until they are asleep, and then eating just a plain ol' sandwich is so boring. I'd much rather create something interesting out of the leftovers!! ;)

Friday, April 4, 2008

...but Joy comes in the morning....

My teacher ended up deciding that the test was too hard, and she threw out some of the questions. I ended up with a 79! Not as high as I would have liked, but definitely a good grade for such a hard test. :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Foundation Building

So, yesterday was a pretty bad day. There are so many times I can honestly say that I hate nursing school. Yesterday was probably one of those days. I just tried to not think about it, though. I've been studying for probably 3 weeks for a test over everything to do with the Cardiac system--bypass surgeries, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, valve disorders, interpreting EKGs, etc. I've heard about this test for years now. It is supposed to be one of the hardest tests in all of nursing school. So when we first started the lectures on the cardiac system, I started studying almost immediately. But yesterday, I made a 73 on the test. That's a D. *sigh* I still have an 82 in the class, a C, so I'm hoping I can bring my grade back up to the B I had before. I'm just really disappointed that even though I studied so hard I ended up with such a low grade. I think that was probably the average grade in the class. I asked pretty much everyone what they ended up with, and the highest grade I heard of was an 86, which is a really low B.

We had all of spring break to study. I even skipped out on a mission trip that I wanted to go on more than anything else. But I don't think I have ever felt as depressed or lonely as I did last week. I just completely felt like there was nothing left of me. I would sit down to study, and I couldn't really focus at all. I called Mrs. Polly (the awesome lady who disciples me!) and asked for her to meet with me. We sat and talked for a really long time, and I felt so much better for it. I told her that I really feel upset because I feel like what I am called to do right now (nursing school) is pulling me away from the things I want to be doing to serve God. I don't see how it could be better to have to stay home and study than go on a missions trip. How could that be serving God more? Yet I believe that God always places us where we need to be to glorify Him the most. So somehow, this is how God has me serving Him.

Mrs. Polly said that she has realized in her life that the things we want to serve God with the most, God often takes away from us for a time so that we will want them with all of our hearts. Through this, when I am finally on the mission field, I will be able to look back at this time and remember just how much I struggled during this time, longing to serve God. So this is a strengthening time for me. As much as I would like for it to be over with, this time in my life is vital. Because, as Mrs. Polly told me, God doesn't build with cracked foundations. He has to make us whole first.