Words of Trust

This blog has been host to many of my ideas and interests, but I have kept one thing off of it – my religion. I have mentioned it vaguely, briefly, but never explicitly. There are a myriad of reasons for this. When I started my blog, I was not particularly strong in my faith – like anyone, I experience ups and downs in my walk, and that was a down point. Another reason is that I did not want to turn off readers who dislike religion. However, there are some reasons I am going to talk about it now. My faith in Christ is deeply engrained – it is a huge part of who I am, and affects every turn of my life. I have no interest in hiding that. I don’t purpose to offend anyone, but I also don’t promise to be someone different just so that people will agree with me. Even if you are not Christian, or believe in no god at all, I don’t mean to convert or offend you, and you may be interested in the perspective my faith can provide.

In the last year, there have been many, many times when I felt my world spinning out of control. My only defense has been trusting God. However, I’m extremely bad at that unless I am constantly reminding myself why I trust God – His goodness, His love, His perfect plan. Outside of Scripture reading, music has been my go-to help for times of trust. The worship-focused melodies and lyrics run through my head incessantly, encouraging me to constant peace and trust. Today has been one such day. I am basking in the words of trust, reminded of how marvelous, incomprehensible, and close my God is. I wanted to share with you my playlist specifically for trust songs. Perhaps they can be an encouragement to you as well.

1. Make My Life An Alleluia – Soundforth (A Quiet Heart)

2. Trust in God, My Soul – Soundforth (Depths of Mercy) – This song has become one of my very favorites over the last year. The words resonate with me and remain in my head for days after. I often find myself listening to it on repeat, trying to burn the attitude of faith into my own heart.

3. Blessings – Laura Story – I just learned this song at school, first from my friends, and then from my new church. It took on new meaning when I watched our music director, whose son lay close to death, lead us in a praise service with this song.

4. Immortal, Invisible – Laura Story

5. In My Weakness – Soundforth (A Quiet Heart)

6. Renew Me – Matt & Christy Taylor (A Gentle Voice)

7. I Run To Christ – Anderson & Habegger

8. Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer – Galvin Evangelistic Team (Consider Him)

9. Mercies Anew – Steve Pettit (So High the Price) – “May this journey bring a blessing, may I rise on wings of faith, and at the end of my heart’s testing, with your likeness let me wake.”

10. Merciful God – Steve Pettit (So High the Price)

11. More Love – Steve Pettit (Higher Ground)

12. All I Have is Christ – Galvin Evangelistic Team (By Faith)

All of these songs have special meaning to me. I could take a single post for each one and explain why I love it, but I won’t. They are all available on Grooveshark, or if you are interested, feel free to contact me and I will share my playlist with you. Obviously, there are many more terrific songs out there, even on the subject of trust. These happen to be the ones I fall back on. I would love to hear your favorites or your thoughts on religion and trust. The only thing I ask is that you remain respectful. My religion is my choice and while I never mind discussing it, I have no intention of arguing about it.

How College Spoiled Me Rotten

That sounds so wrong, doesn’t it? College spoiling someone…college is the place of wretched roommates, life-sucking tests and projects, dreaded final exams, and suppers of grilled cheese made on irons.

But that’s where we are wrong. Let me list a few ways college spoiled me.

1. Routine. I come from a house where the only routine is…no routine. Over the years, I’ve caught glimpses of the frustration that lack of routine can cause, but never fully appreciated it. I couldn’t understand why my older sisters came home from college with this annoying habit of constantly cleaning and wanting everything to happen right away. But now I understand. I love my routine at college. It keeps me sane. Every day, I wake up, shower, eat breakfast, go to work or class, and from 8 to at least 5, my day is planned. My evenings aren’t fully planned, but I always have a mental agenda. At home, it is nothing like that. And yes, it drives me insane. If we’re making supper, I want to make supper, eat supper, go on to something else,  not talk about what we might have for supper while browsing Facebook…..and eat 2 hours later.

1a. Cleanliness. This is not the case at all schools, but at mine, we are required to have clean rooms 6 days a week. Seriously. Our rooms are checked and there are penalties for not meeting standard. So things are almost always reasonably neat and clean, and if they aren’t, they will be within 24 hours. Not so here….and I find myself impulsively straightening things as I move about the house.

2. Access to everything. At college, I am a 5 minute or less walk from a gym, library, game room, snack shop (with 3 restaurants), dining common, soccer fields, running track, art museum, and planetarium. Here…..I have yet to figure out a work out schedule. I don’t want to pay for a gym for 3 months. I can’t walk into a dining common full of food choices, take my pick, and leave my dishes for someone else afterwards. This can be extremely frustrating.

3. Adulthood. This hit me just Sunday, but at college, everyone treats me like an adult. All of my professors are extremely respectful. They never treat us like children. The environment is one of respect and professional civility. Just two days after returning home, I took my sister and some friends (all high schoolers) out to eat. The typical southern endearments of the staff (“sweetie” “young lady” “darling”) caught me off guard. I’m no longer used to being treated like a little girl. Some might argue that in southern culture, they weren’t even doing that…just being friendly. In that case, I am simply no longer used to being treated that casually.

This all boils down to one thing: focus. I have become accustomed to everything in my life being focused on a single goal: making college work for me. When I’m at school, I seldom have to worry about anyone but myself. My only focus is success. Be that cleanliness, organization, agenda, or just a relief from all domestic duties, it is justified because my focus is school. At home, I have no idea how to cope. I’m still taking classes, so the focus is still there, but it fights with my family, boyfriend, books, British TV shows, and a full-time job. I just don’t know how to mesh that all.

How’s that for a first college post? High schoolers, go to college, it will spoil you! But you may have no idea how to live with normal people again…

Professional Student

Is it too soon to say that I might love college? Don’t get me wrong, people. I’m not crazy. I have no affection for getting up early, having tons of projects due, or living in a dorm. But I do love learning. About anything and everything. College has been an amazing way to do exactly that. Over Christmas break, as I prepared for my new classes, I found myself enthralled with the idea of being able to learn so much.

But there’s a problem. I’m an English major. I love literature and words and writing, so I think this is a good fit for me. But that major doesn’t allow for dabbling in piano, psychology, business, speech, theater, journalism, cello, and whatever else happens to pop into my head. My (brilliant) brother-in-law thinks I should be a humanities major (he’s a little biased), but I love English, so I have no intent to switch.

The best solution I’ve been able to come up with is dabbling in what I find important right now, and saving the rest for later. I can always take classes outside of my college degree, or I can put my reading and researching skills to use and learn on my own. Being a professional student doesn’t seem like it will work out as a career plan (unfortunately), but I intend to learn as much as possible every day for the rest of my life.