Monday, March 29, 2010

New Obsessions

I gave the UPS man quite a scare as I flew the door open and ripped the package out of his hand. I only had to wait two days for the glorious arrival of my newest obsession but it felt like years as I waited quite impatiently to read this children’s book. A simplistic joy. One of those things you stumble upon and it grasps the center of your attention. Shaun Tan got me when he wrote and illustrated “Tales from Outer Suburbia.” This book contains lighthearted stories that will keep you thinking for hours. All the things you wish were different about life in Suburbia become reality in this collection of stories.

Buy it. Borrow it. Read it. Love it.

The Temper Trap needs no justification as to why they are a new obsession. They escort me as I walk to class, soak up the sun on the front lawn of CBU, or go for a night drive.

A companion one must not leave home without.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Giving in to Something Heavenly

So I have learned the past week that writing a blog about my struggles with “Great Expectations” was like praying for patience; it is usually followed by some perfect opportunities to practice patience (and then followed by a failure that makes you pray for more patience- and so the cycle continues).

I can honestly say that for most of the plans in my life, I have great expectations (or at least good ones); plans that I have tried to align with God’s word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. God would never throw plans like that off track, right? Wrong.

I am a planner by nature. It eases my mind to have a calendar full of hopes and plans. I used to be (and can sometimes resort to being) a “control freak.” I would literally put “wake up” and “make sure you go to the bathroom today” on my to-do list. Some weeks I know that I am being too ambitious with my plans, but things left undone just get pushed to the next day until completion. I can see how God has worked on my heart with those simple day-to-day mini failures of tasks that go undone. I don’t have to dwell on the failure; I can get up, try again tomorrow and move on. My problem still lies with the bigger hopes, bigger plans, bigger dreams.

I have lived with the false idea that I could plan out my whole life, live accordingly, pray, and God would be right there with me, cheering me along as my plans succeeded. Apparently, when I read Proverbs 16 I would coincidentally never read verse 9, which says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” A stab in the heart to the control freak, who has not only planned the course in his heart, but also his mind, body, soul, calendar, post-it notes, etc etc etc. Letting go of these lofty plans that are so embedded into my being is extremely difficult. It’s hard for me to grasp why God would put something, someone, some place, some timing on my heart and then not allow me the opportunity to live out those dreams. Granted, it’s not like my life is over and there are no more chances to have these dreams become reality in my life. As I see seemingly perfect opportunities pass me by at the seemingly perfect time, I can lose sight of the God who holds my days.

I think of the story of Job, a man who had it all going for him and had every reason to be secure in his plans but then had everything ripped away from him. My heart aches as I read the words in Job chapters 38-41 knowing that I, like Job, am ignorant in the presence of God.

“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? […] Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? […] The LORD said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” Then Job answered the LORD: “I am unworthy- how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.”

I tremble at these words, being reminded of the Greatness of the God that I call upon, question, complain to, and fear. My dreams in light of these verses seem petty. I am blessed that God allows me glimpses of His heart in His plans for me. I need to stop comparing my life to the lives of Christians around me and just sit at the feet of my God, eagerly expecting the next exciting and unexpected turn He will put in front of me. I can only pray that baggage from expectations not (yet) met do not take away from the joy and the future that God has, wants, and plans for me. God brings that joy in ways that I could never have imagined in my own mind. I pray for both myself and you that we can take God as a refuge when our plans are unraveling before our eyes and we feel helpless, abandoned, let down, and alone. We are not alone Church; let us not lose heart.

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD…” (Jeremiah 29:12-14).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is the Lord of my life

I am overwhelmed by my Savior… Jesus:

In Genesis, Jesus is the Ram at Abraham’s alter.

In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb.

In Leviticus, He is the High Priest.

In Numbers, He is the Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night.

In Deuteronomy, He is the City of our Refuge.

In Joshua, He is the Scarlet Thread out Rahab’s window.

In Judges, He is our Judge.

In Ruth, He is our Kinsman Redeemer.

In 1 & 2 Samuel, He is our Trusted Prophet.

In Kings & Chronicles, He is our Reigning King.

In Ezra, He is our Faithful Scribe.

In Nehemiah, He is the Rebuilder of everything that is broken.

In Esther, He is the Mordecai sitting faithful at the gate.

In Job, He is our Redeemer that ever lives.

In Psalms, He is my Shepard I shall not want.

In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, He is our Wisdom.

In the Song of Solomon, He is the Beautiful Bridegroom.

In Isaiah, He is the Suffering Prophet.

In Jeremiah and Lamentations, He is the Weeping Prophet.

In Ezekiel, He is the wonderful Four-Faced Man.

In Daniel, He is the Fourth man in the midst of the fiery furnace.

In Hosea, He is my Love that is forever faithful.

In Joel, He is the Baptizer of the Holy Spirit.

In Amos, He is our burden Bearer.

In Obadiah, He is our Savior.

In Jonah, He is the great foreign missionary that takes the word of God into all the world.

In Micah, He is the Messenger with beautiful feet.

In Nahum, He is the Avenger.

In Habakkuk, He is the Watchman that is ever praying for revival.

In Zephaniah, He is the Lord Mighty to serve.

In Haggai, He is the Restorer of our lost heritage.

In Zechariah, He is our Fountain.

In Malachi, He is the Son of righteousness with healing in His wings.

In Mathew, He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

In Mark, He is the Miracle Worker.

In Luke, He is the Son of man.

In John, He is the Door by which every one of us must enter.

In Acts, He is the shining Light that appears to Saul on the road to Damascus.

In Romans, He is our Justifier.

In 1 Corinthians, He is our Resurrection.

In 2 Corinthians, He is our Sin Bearer.

In Galatians, He Redeems us from the law.

In Ephesians, He is our unsearchable Riches.

In Philippians, He supplies our every need.

In Colossians, He is the Fullness of the Godhead bodily.

In 1 & 2 Thessalonians, He is our soon Coming King.

In 1 &2 Timothy, He is the Mediator between God and man.

In Titus, He is our Blessed Hope.

In Philemon, He is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother.

In Hebrews, He is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant.

In James, He is the Lord that heals the sick.

In 1 & 2 Peter, He is our Chief Shepard.

In 1, 2, & 3 John, it is Jesus who has the tenderness of Love.

In Jude, he is the Lord coming with 10,000 saints.


This is my God!

Great Expectations

Those who know me well know that I live my life with great expectations. I am not a fan of an anticipated surprises. If I know that something "great" is in my future but it is kept a surprise, I will come up with various scenarios that are great according to me and my expectations. The problem is that I always over-anticipate things and make them a bit too grand. I hate hate hate the feeling that comes when something doesn't meet these expectations because If I hadn't been waiting for something to happen, the surprise in itself would've been greatly appreciated. So... the point is: I have too high of expectations for most everything.
This fault has manifested itself in my spring break as well. I'm not the girls gone wild MTV spring break kinda girl, but I was hoping for some good adventures and hang out times with friends. Something out of the norm. Something that gave me a glimpse of summer in all its glory.
These expectations (as usual) were somewhat unrealistic considering I was getting my wisdom teeth pulled the first day of break. So there goes about 4 days. Laying on the couch, soft foods, movies, and pain meds. Not idyllic. I began sulking about a wasted spring break as the days became a blur of naps and mid-day sitcoms.
I have decided on this final day of spring break to be thankful
for all the great things that did happen this week. Working on having a thankful and joyful heart.
So here it goes....
I am incredibly thankful for this man who is not only my best friend and soul mate, but who has a seemingly endless supply of patience for me. I am thankful for all the time he spends with me and my family, for his prayers and encouragement, the way he makes me laugh so hard and feel better when I'm sick. He is godsend to my life and someone that I thank God for every day.

I am thankful for the Lavender Lounge Tea Company for providing delicious tea and a safe haven for the stressed soul. Their new patio was a rejuvenating and relaxing place to enjoy this mango tea.
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to have a car wash on saturday to raise money for my trip to Uganda this summer. We took donations for the wash and I raised about $140!

I am thankful for cards and board games (things that have a one-time small cost that bring hours and hours of bonding time with my family and Luis). The memories of playing games are some of the best I have... it's like my family's thing

I am thankful that I got to walk around the Dana Point Harbor and take pictures and enjoy the beautiful weather of Orange County while spending some quality alone time with my thoughts.

I am thankful that I had time to read Three Cups of Tea and listen to music (mostly The Temper Trap, Eisley, Regina Spektor, Frou Frou and John Mayer this week).

These are just a few of the many things that brought me joy this week. They overshadow any negative and unpleasant experiences (i.e. wisdom teeth extractions) and remind me that I am a blessed woman.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bye Bye Wisdom...

Last Thursday at 3:00 I said goodbye to my wisdom teeth and hello to viodin, jello, and jamba juice. It was my first time being put completely under and, rumor has it, I was quite the entertainment when I woke up. My mom said I was talking about flying in Avatar while I was “under”. Apparently, I just had to call Jessica (the best friend) and Luis (the boyfriend) to tell them how jealous they’d be cus I was in Avatar (and flying of course)…But I don’t remember any of it. Jessica is the best source for a live re-telling of the fiasco (but I hear she charges $5). Luis was at work when we called so when we passed him on the freeway my mom told me to “wave at Luis because he’s working” to which I replied, “Yes, Luis works very hard. He has to work hard to make a lot of money. Because it’s expensive to marry me.” So there is my true personality I guess; some crazy expensive girlfriend… cut me some slack though- I just had the wisdom pulled outta my head!

The last three days have been a blur of fruity soft foods and re-runs of Saved by the Bell. Luis and my mom have been a champs though, dealing with the grumpy side when the vicodin wears off and just sitting around while I sleep. Today is a new day! I am up and I am going to get reacquainted with the shower J I am ready to embrace spring break, which really means nothing because I have no plans, but going to the beach and reading sounds a lot better than sitting inside for another day!

For all of you who were looking forward to seeing the puffy-little version of Kristina… Don’t get too excited. Zero swelling. Literally like nothing. I am incredible sad to report that there is no funny picture of what I would look like if I were puffed up like a balloon. Who knows though? Maybe one day my face will swell up for one reason or another… and we’ll all have our laughs.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Beginnings

So. I’ve decided to start a blog. No particular reason. No big and exciting life change to talk about specifically. I am just always on the hunt for some new hobby to fill my time and help me to procrastinate on my homework. It seems the mission has been accomplished here.

PLUS… in a world of facebookers and tweeters, it seems we can’t quite get enough of the mundane and minuscule details of people’s lives,

So here are mine…..