Rite of way...to adulthood.

*drum roll please...*

It's my 18th birthday!  18!  I just can't believe I've lived 18 years.  I'm getting old. :)

I had an absolutely wonderful day.  For starters, Rachel, Ellie, and I went into town and went shopping and in search of free birthday stuff.  We didn't find much, but we did get free drinks at Boba Tea, which was really nice.  Then we went to see "The Green Lantern".  It wasn't as good as I thought it would be, but it was still decent.  And then we went and met my parents and Chloe at Olive Garden for dinner.  Afterwards we came home and had cake and presents, and it was great!  Here's some pictures of what we did once we got home from dinner.

My cake was about to go up in flames. :)


Be Still, My Soul

I wanted to post this song today because there are a lot of changes going on in my life.  I'm going to be starting college in seven days, and tomorrow I'm turning eighteen!  It can kind of be a lot to take in at a time.  I never thought I'd even get to my senior year, much less be through with it, graduated, and starting college!

Thinking about all the new changes has kind of had me worrying about, well, everything.  I heard this song a few days ago, and I really liked it because it just brings peace to my soul, reminding me of God's faithfulness and steadfastness.

When I put all of this in the perspective that God is in control and all that matters is that I glorify Him in all of this, go where He leads, and rely on His strength, trusting Him for whatever happens, all this change is kind of exciting!  I'm sad to be leaving my "kid years", but excited to see what God has ahead!

Speaking of what He has ahead...

ALL my books.

My chemistry book is still wrapped in plastic.  I don't really want to look at it. :E

My intimidating math calculator.  I have no idea how to use it.

May God be glorified in it all!


Love Through Me, Even Me

Love through me, Love of God;
   There is no love in me.
O Fire of love, light Thou the love
   That burns perpetually.

Flow through me, Peace of God;
   Calm River, flow until
No wind can blow, no current stir
   A ripple of self-will.

Shine through me, Joy of God;
   Make me like Thy clear air
That Thou dost pour Thy colors through,
   As though it were not there.

O blessed Love of God,
   That all may taste and see
How good Thou art, once more I pray:
   Love through me--even me.

-- Amy Carmichael


Everyday's Thanksgiving, Part #23

I'm thankful for:

0441. getting my wisdom teeth out on Monday

0442. general anaesthesia! (so, so, SO thankful!)

0443. my wondeful mother who has been waiting on me hand and foot for the past two days

0444. daily excitement!  I actually passed out THREE TIMES yesterday because I apparently don't handle drugs well at all, but it certainly made the day a bit more exciting!

0445. also for my awesome father, who caught me the first time I fainted yesterday.  The other two times I was, thankfully, sitting down. :)

0446. ice packs that you can strap around your head.  They look ridiculous, but they actually really help!

0447. my kind family, who doesn't laugh at me even though I look like I've been made a temporary member of the chipmunk species. :O <-- that's the shape of my face right now; extending beyond the edges of my eyes. Ha!

0448. being able to just be lazy and not have to worry about work or church or anything else for a few days.  This time of recovery is awesome.

0449. getting most of my college books!  After hypeventilating into a paper bag because of how much they cost, they actually look pretty cool.

0450. this awesome new background that I found a few days ago!  I just love it.

0451. The Afters' "Lift Me Up"

0452. starting college in exactly 14 days.  I'm going to be taking intermediate algebra, intoductory art, analytic and argumentative writing, introductory psychology, and intoductory chemistry.  I'm really nervous, but I am so excited!

0453. God's peace, even though I'm no longer sure of what I want to go to college for. :}

0454. the incredible story of Anna in the Bible.  This is the seventh study in the Bible study fo teen gils I've been leading for the past six-ish months, and it is definitely my favorite so far.  Her whole life is summed up in just three verses, but they tell the life story of a woman wholly and passionately devoted to our amazing God.

0455. stitches that dissolve

0456. that my lips and tongue aren't numb anymore!

0457. having our youth Sunday at church on the 14th.  The youth led worship, and then one of my good friends who is just my age preached a great sermon.  I was so proud!  It was bittersweet, since this was my last trip as a youth and, therefore, my last youth Sunday as a youth, but it is so good to be moving on and trusting in God's direction for my life.

0458. orange walls

0459. giant sunflowers

0460. striped pens


Live Free!

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

I've been thinking a lot about this since Regeneration--how Christ has set us free, so that we can be free.  Not as a temporary reprieve, not so that we can continue in a lifestyle of dishonoring Him, but for freedom.  How incredible is that?  That the God of the universe has set us free, and we can conquer sin through Him.  We can say "no", and by God's grace overcome.  I am dead to sin--I am a corpse lying on the ground, and sin can kick me and drag me around and try any way to get my attention, but I am dead to it.  Aren't the parallels of the Christian life funny?  Dead, but alive.  A slave, but a daughter too.  The least, but the greatest.

I have a few songs that I wanted to share today because I just love them!  I hope you enjoy them too.


A Tea Against Suffering

I looked out at the silent congregation. It was, for a moment, as if I were back in my church during the war on the day when the Iron Guard bullies filed in with their guns. Menace was around us, not only in the place where Rugojanu was taking notes.

I continued, “Don’t let suffering take you by surprise! Meditate on it often. Take the virtues of Christ and His saints into your life. The pastor I spoke of, my teacher who died for his faith, gave me a recipe for a tea against suffering, and I will give it to you.”

I told them the story of a doctor of early Christian times who was unjustly imprisoned by the emperor. After some weeks his family was allowed to see him, and at first they wept. His clothes were rags, his nourishment a slice of bread with a cup of water every day. His wife wondered and asked, “How is it that you look so well? You have the air of one who has just come from a wedding!” The doctor smilingly replied that he found a remedy for all troubles, and his family asked him what it was. The doctor told them, “I have discovered a tea that is good against all suffering and sorrow. It contains seven herbs, and I shall number them for you.”

“The first herb is called contentedness: be satisfied with what you have. I may shiver in my rags as I gnaw on a crust, but how much worse off I should be if the emperor had thrown me naked into a dungeon with nothing at all to eat!

“The second herb is common sense. Whether I rejoice or worry, I shall still be in prison, so why fret?

“The third is remembrance of past sins: count them, and on the supposition that every sin deserves a day in prison, reckon how many lives you would spend behind bars—you have been let off lightly!

“The fourth is the thought of the sorrows that Christ bore gladly for us. If the only Man who ever could choose His fate on earth chose pain, what great value He must have seen in it! So we observe that, borne with serenity and joy, suffering redeems.

“The fifth herb is the knowledge that suffering has been given to us by God as from a father, not to harm us, but to cleanse and sanctify us. The suffering through which we pass has the purpose of purifying us and preparing us for heaven.

“The sixth is the knowledge that no suffering can harm a Christian life. If the pleasures of the flesh are all, then pain and prison bring an end to a man’s aim in living; but if the core of life is truth, that is something which no prison cell can change. In prison or out of it two and two make four. Prison cannot stop me from loving; iron bars cannot exclude faith. If these ideals make up my life, I can be serene anywhere.

“The last herb in the recipe is hope. The wheel of life may put the emperor’s physician in prison, but it goes on turning. It may put me back into the palace, and even put me on the throne.”

I paused for a moment. The crowded church was still.

“I have drunk barrels of this tea since then,” I said, “and I can recommend it to you all. It has proved good.”
* excerpt taken from "In God's Underground" by Richard Wurmbrand, pages 194-195


Let's go Explora!

Today my family got to have a special day.  We all went to the children's museum, Explora, here in Albuquerque, and then my mom, sisters, and I went to see Kung Fu Panda 2.  It was really fun!  I just love the museum; it's so much fun and very interesting.  Here's some pictures of it.

Yellow doors!

We had such a great time playing with these mirrors that distort your body. :)

They have this huge elevator with couches and chairs.  It's as big as a real room.

I find this picture deeply disturbing.

Our fat little family. ;D

I also wanted to share this song that I've just fallen in love with.  Enjoy!

Hello, goodbye

This past week has been pretty fun, not too busy but enough to keep it from getting boring.  On Sunday we said goodbye to the Waite family, which was really sad, but I'm so excited for them going to Cameroon that it makes it a little bit better.  Still, when I think that I just said goodbye to them for two years, it's not all that great.  God is good, though!  His timing and His ways are perfect.  Here's a couple pics from that.

Worship practice


Right before I dropped my pick inside the guitar. :E

The quilt that the women of the church made for the Waites as a thank you gift for all they've done for us.

The label on the back of the quilt


Today is...

...a momentous day.  I've done my first guest post for another blog! (!!!)

Two weeks ago Compassion International posted a request for sponsors to submit possible entries for their blog.  So, half an hour before I headed off to Regeneration, I typed up an article and emailed it to them with the hope they'd publish, but not really thinking they would...

But they did!  As of today, you can read my post on their blog.  It's not anything incredible, but it is exciting for me, so I hope you'll go check it out and tell me what you think!  You can read it here.

I have but one passion--it is He, it is He alone.  The world is the field, and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.
-- Count Nikolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf


New video

Yesterday I played this song as a prelude at my church.  It was all going really well until the middle of the second verse, when I dropped my pick inside the guitar.  It was very embarrassing.  I had to continue on strumming with my thumb, but in the end it turned out OK!  Anyway, I decided to record a version of it, mostly because I just love this song and can't seem to find a version of it that I like.  Enjoy!


Regeneration 2011, Day #6

Our sixth day at Glorieta wasn't really a Regeneration day, I guess, since everybody except for the game crew was gone.  We all went for breakfast at 7:30 and had everything packed in the cars by 9:30.  We all went up to the prayer garden one more time before leaving.  It took awhile for everyone to get there, so I explored some more.  That morning I found this poem by a walkway:

An hour spent in sacred prayer,
   Within God's sacred garden here,
Brings sweet content within the soul,
   As self I yield to His Control.

I set each human problem free,
   And in its place Dear Lord to Thee,
I build an altar deep within,
   Secure from life's depressing din.
I don't know who it's by, but I like it.

And that's the end of Regeneration!  It was amazing, and such a blessing from the Lord!

To God be the glory!
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