This semester I have been blessed with such and amazing opportunity to help teach a classroom of 5th and 6th graders at church! These kids are so bright, and you learn so much from them. The Sunday before last, since their teacher was out of town, I was given the opportunity to teach the classroom by myself. I showed them a DVD about the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then we had discussion time after that. These kids are bright, funny, intelligent, and are so fun.
Today I learned that the innocence of children is a very special thing. Their curiosity is unique, and their questions are raw and deep. I can't wait to see where we all go!
It has been awhile! Hmm, there is so much to talk about. To start with, grades were posted! I checked my grades, and I did pretty well this semester. I received an A in my hardest class, and A's and B's on all of the others! (Except for Advanced Theory, where I received a C+). Goodness, what a year it has been. From the "new" job (It was new in the fall), to Junior year classes, to 41 total credit hours, to personal fall-outs, to everything in between, I can say that I have truly "lived" this year. I believe that the Lord gives us storms, not only so that the rainbow seems that much brighter on the other end, but to simply let us learn how to make it through a storm.
Right now, there is a song playing, called "Rivers and Roads" by the Head and the Heart. As you read this, you should open up another tab, go to YouTube, and play this song in the background as you read this. Long story short, the chorus sings, "Rivers and roads, rivers and roads, rivers 'til I meet you." This line makes me think of sooooo much, as does the rest of the song.
The beginning of the song starts out by discussing the inevitible fact that (whether it be graduation, or moving, etc.) friends are moving away from one another. This hits home, because in a year, we will have graduated, and we will go our separate ways. Along with that, the seniors this year have just graduated, and along with that, there are friends who, for different reasons, are not able to come back next year. As sad as this realization is, it is such a beautiful one. If we look at life like a journey, I am counting every single person who I have met along the way, a blessing. Everybody who I have met here in college have furthered me into the person I now am. Though I will not use actual names of said people, I will just give a few examples of some people who have changed me altogether:
-- Optimism and love can truly make the world go round
-- Analyze everything, but at the same time, be open minded
--- It is a good thing. Whatever "it" is; "It", is a good thing.
--- Be intelligent about anything you open your mouth about
--- - Don't take life too seriously. View it through your choice of goggles. If you find somebody who has the exact same pair, get ready for the time of your life
Even though it is sad moving on, I've met all of these people, and so much more. It's exciting to think about the idea that even though I'll have to leave my friends here, yet again, I will somehow be surrounded with an even newer set of people, who will not only grow me into the adult that I will become, but will help impact my life in ways that only these "future friends" will be able to.
"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
This beautiful verse has helped me through some of my rough patches. It keeps me grounded, and lets me know that I am made weak for a reason.
Happy Easter, Everybody! What a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day. Christ conquered the dead, and rose. He, and he alone, defeated death.
This morning in church, our pastor said something that really resonated with me. He asked the congregation to remember the Passover. God said that if you slayed a lamb, and wiped its blood above the door of the household, the angel of death would not enter. That night, the angel of death came, and every household with the blood of the lamb on it, was protected. Every household without the mark, had a death in it by the next morning. When Christ died for us, he became THE Lamb. He become the Passover Lamb; once and for all. His blood, now saves us ALL from death, as long as we put our faith, and life in Him. What a beautiful sacrifice.
As of late, I have been working on a song that talks about Jesus's life, His death, and His love for us. It is still in the works, but I am hoping to put up the video sometime this week, in honor of the death and the Resurrection.
Amen, and be blessed, everybody.
Good afternoon, readers and listeners! What does success mean to you? To me, success is doing what you love. To me, success is not even "making it" to where you strive to be, but is found in the active pursuit of your goal. I think we can find success in many things. Our work, our schooling, our relationships, or our dreams and aspirations. For me, success is, while following God, 1.) being able to support myself/family fiscally while pursuing and writing music, and 2.) somehow helping the orphaned children of this world. Usually I feel like I am successful in my pursuit, but each day is different. Sometimes I wonder why I'm even pursuing music, and some days I feel like there is nothing I can do BUT keep going.
Success can mean many things . . . just know that as long as you are actively working toward it, you love it, and aren't stepping on anybody's toes while doing it, you're a success :)
Second to His Grace, I believe that the greatest gift that God ever gave, was children. They're honest, hilarious, genuine, and for the most part, kind. Most importantly, they are teachers. Here is a segment from my favorite YouTube channel, SoulPancake, where kids are interviewed about hard topics. If you're looking for some comic relief, this is a great video:
(The girl on the left, in the purple, kept me laughing pretty much the entire time)
If I've learned one thing this week, it's that God's got your back, and life goes on. When stuff hits the fan, God is right in your corner. This week, I've learned how to be alone with my thoughts again, how to process, and that God's plan is above any other. Sometimes, you may wonder why things may happen. You may wonder why your life has taken a 180 turn. You may even wonder how you could possibly keep moving forward. It's still a roller coaster ride, but I know that there is something still ahead. One of the greatest things I've learned is forgiveness. There is this amazing quote that reads:
"To err is human, to forgive divine"
I really appreciate this quote, because sure we all fall short and mess up, but forgiveness is something that goes above, and beyond the self. This month, I have learned to forgive. Forgiveness is hard, beautiful, depressing, freeing, saddening, and relaxing, all at once. I have learned that forgiveness isn't just an act that happens all at once, but is
intentionally, and purposefully forgiving someone, and in time, by extending grace toward them, the pain and anger will start to subside.
I think the bridges from India Aire's song "Wings of Forgiveness" says it best:
"If Nelson Mandela can forgive his oppressors surely I can forgive for your passion."
Here is a very intriguing video that I stumbled upon. In this video, author Laura Doyle tells the audience her view on 'Accepting a Compliment'
At my on-campus job this summer, our boss is not only a pretty chill person, but is a fountain of knowledge. He speaks the kind of messages that could probably change the viewpoint of an entire nation, but our scatterbrained society would not only not harbor the patience to hear said words, but wouldn't even have the willpower to sit still for five minutes. Here is the TaylorTalk that spoke out to me this week:
I asked, "Taylor, if you were to have kids, what three lessons would you teach them?" He said, "Easy. Integrity, Self Respect, and Living Each Day Like it is Truly Your Last"
"Integrity. You mess up, you need to step up and man up to it. Nobody’s going to bail you out and nobody should be expected to bail you out. You have to man up. That’s number one. When you have that integrity, the rest of life is worth living because you won’t make bad decisions, knowing that you’re the only one accountable for it. My parents did drugs when they were young, my mom stole a car, etc. They did not forbid me to do things when I was young, and did not forbid me to make bad decisions. They told me, “You are alone responsible for anything you do. If you end up in jail, call for pizza for your cellmates because we’re not getting you out.”
The second thing, is that you have to respect yourself. I mean seriously, you have to respect yourself. If you don’t’ respect yourself, then you’re not going to respect anyone around you. If you have self-loathing, then you are going to hate other people around you, no matter what. If you don't like yourself, you won’t like the things about yourself that you see in other people. So you have to respect yourself.
Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. You can die of a heart attack, you can die of carbon monoxide poisoning, or you could have an aneurism tonight and die. Have you lived your life to the fullest every day? I’m not talking about being risky or being stupid because you’re living like every day is your last, but if you put something off with the idea of “later”, that “later” becomes “never”, the older you get. You need to live your life every day like it is the last day, and make it fulfilling. Think about it, little things. My apartment is always clean, because if I died, I wouldn’t want to have somebody have to come in and clean up my mess. My finances are always sorted because I don’t’ want someone to have to come in and pay for me after I die. I live every day to the fullest I can, within my means. I don’t take off every day to travel the world, because it would cost a fortune, and that turns into somebody else’s burden if I die. But I don’t deny myself things that I want. If you have a passion to do something, don’t put it off; do it. If you want to do something and put it off, and wake up the next day still wanting the same thing, then it needs to be done."
Photo Credit: David Webb
It's 7am in the morning, and I just got back from a RUN! I completed a full 34 minute run, and ran 3.3 miles. To be quite honest, I wasn't sure if my knee would ever fully heal. I wasn't sure if I would be able to run 4 miles like I used to. Though I have been cross-training and completing a jog here and there for the past year, this is the first time I have been able to run a WHOLE run, with only a little pain! Like the Physical Therapist urged me to do, I kept focusing on not letting my knees fall it. I also worked on not landing too much on the inside of my foot. In short, we are trying to bring my knee-cap back where it should be. My right knee cap is pulled off slightly to the right side of my body, due to IT-ban tightness, things due to growing, my flat feet, and my build. It felt so invigorating to finish a run at seven miles per hour, without any pain. After that, I came back, and now I'm starting back up my with pushup and sit-tup regimen. Let's get back to it!! Praise the good Lord Jesus!!!