Hey there! So, today felt brand new. This has been my fourth day on Spring break and, lest I become complacent, today came with a sudden change of pace. I had to leave the house actually because my mom was doing childcare. Anyhow, I decided to walk to the Bayside Church Cafe (because I don’t have a car) and work on homework. So that’s just what I did. I left the house at 9 AM and made it to church at 9:45. I even finished a whole paper while I was there! Then I left around 2:15 PM and as I was walking home, I stopped to take this picture:

Power Lines
I really love man-made objects.

I don’t know why, but it struck me as particularly picture worthy. It’s just so expansive. I like wide-open spaces. At this point, I was almost home, but instead of going home, I decided to walk through Maidu park nearby and I ran into a guy I know from school who I had no idea lived there! How cool. Then I saw these clouds and just had to take another picture:

Clouds
Another "Wow" moment. This scene caught me by surprise.

You might be wondering at this point why I’ve bothered to tell you every little detail of my day. It’s because I never used to think this way. Something in me has changed. I don’t really know how, but living at school for nine months out of the year has caused my perspective to change a little bit. Honestly, I don’t like being back at home. I wish I was on my own. I wish I had a car. I wish I had lots of friends that I could go do things with. I wish I had a steady source of income. But that’s the wrong way of looking at things.

I used to be dominated by routine. No longer am I stuck in my circumstance. Somehow, all of the lessons I’ve been learning about seeking Jesus every day has caused me to see that it is possible to live above my circumstances. This whole time that I was walking, I was also praying. What I noticed about today is that, although I am in a familiar environment, my interactions in it have changed. Maybe there is hope after all that change can happen. Maybe there is hope that I bring a little bit of the kingdom of heaven to the world around me as I renew my mind. Maybe there is hope that good things will come of all my desires. It’s a little change, but I’m beginning to feel as though that’s a misnomer because even a “little” change takes a great deal of effort, sometimes more than we can humanly exert. That must mean that God is moving!!! Thank You, Jesus!

So, yesterday I received a letter. It was a certificate of victory. Wanna see it?

My Certificate of Victory

Wanna know what it says? “Thank you for expressing interest in chapel worship at William Jessup University. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer an opportunity for regular participation in an ’11-’12 worship team. We do, however, encourage you to continue to develop your gifts and will keep you in mind for future opportunities.”

When I first got this, I was sad. So, just like Hezekiah did with the letter from the king of Assyria, I spread this before the LORD in prayer. You know what He told me? Stop thinking about it. Yes, this is a certificate of victory because it has nothing to do with the fact that I won’t be on a worship team at school (you may remember me mentioning the audition process in an earlier post). It was a miracle that I had made it to the point where I could audition for this position without the slightest trace of bitterness in my heart from previous attempts at church. For me, I really don’t care that they said no. I care that they acknowledged my attempt! I think I might frame this. What Satan meant to instill rejection, ridicule, and evil; God used to demonstrate victory, growth, and goodness! I couldn’t have done this a year ago—God is so good!

In parting, here’s a little something I hope you will enjoy. I took four separate photos and stitched them together! 🙂

Big tree by the stairs
When I looked up and saw this, I said, "Wow!"

You might like to check out this zoom-able interactive version of the photo too. 😉

I struggle from making mountains out of molehills. My natural tendency is to be overly emotional about the things that I think I need, and very jealous about the things that I don’t have. It’s kind of like my reactions to the weather today. When the sunlight is shining brightly, I feel at peace and productive. Then clouds come casting their shadow over me and I become unsettled and depressed. Huh, I guess that just means I’m human.

I had a chance to talk with my friend Brittany today after choir rehearsal and I have to say that it was one of the most refreshing conversations I’ve had in a while. Now that I think about it, I seem to have a tendency to feel refreshed by my conversations with practically anyone who lives off-campus. I have a feeling it has to do with the maturity that comes from the responsibility of total independence. Perhaps that’s why I crave responsibility so much. I want that maturity. But for now, all I can do pray for change, so that’s what I’ll do. After all, with God all things are possible.

Ha! Come to think of it, I had a chance to talk briefly with another off-campus student today at lunch as well! Guess what we talked about? Maturity. So weird. I think God is telling me that He is about to begin a work of great maturity in me. Let it be so, Jesus!

Path in front
Oh yeah, this is my inspiration to be encouraged today.

God has seen your striving. He knows you may be tired. He knows there are things in your life that you don’t understand. Is God not good? Is God not just? No, if anything, it is we who are unfaithful to Him.

What does it look like to live constantly aware of God’s presence? God’s presence is not one of a parent constantly scrutinizing your actions, waiting to scold at the first sign of disobedience. He is not wanting you to be aware of Him so that you will obey out of fear. He knows your weaknesses. He knows that you are human. He wants you to be aware of His presence so that you may be transformed through the time you spend with Him! He wants you to be aware of His presence so that when your fallen tendencies flare up, you can surrender them over to His power and control. Everything about who you are is completely loved by Him.

Don’t forget to look for the signs of God’s love today. Here’s one for you right now:

Flowers
How can this not brighten your day? These flowers are a gift from God. 🙂