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Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Reflections ~ Home Sweet Home


It's officially summer in my world because I'm finally done with the semester. And, it's not just any old semester, but my last semester at college. I have found that college is a tremendous blessing, but is often difficult for people like myself. If I could sum myself up in a recipe it would be:

1 Introvert
3 Cups Dreamer
1 Cup Visionary
1 Tsbp Procrastination
1/4 tsp Discipline
And a spicy dash of Perfectionism

And, everyone should know that the difference between a dreamer and a visionary is that a dreamer is habitually stuck in the rut of dreaming, whereas a visionary actively pursues and works towards the dreams in mind - haha! I'm working on the discipline part. :-/ Let's just say, this recipe is quite combustible. Just don't stick someone like this in a college setting because there is often much conflict and heartache along the way. Stepping outside of my shoes for a moment, I find it quite humorous. But don't tell myself that I said so.
Anyway, having spent 5 years at college, wandering aimlessly and still managing to get myself a rather pointless degree, I definitely have much to be thankful for! The LORD has taught me tremendous things through the ups and downs of these years. And when I write 'ups and downs,' I mean UPs and DOWNs. O_O
But since when have I never had to learn discipline, contentment, joy, patience, and true character through the weaknesses of my flesh and personality? Feels like I've been learning the same lessons since as far back as I can remember. My poor, poor parents. :-/ But thanks be to God, I'm a more free, joyful, and disciplined person today than ever before....all because of the grace that He lavished on me through Christ! I'm sure my college years will look very wasted to many (and the fact that I'm pulling out at only 22 years of age...what an unheard of thing!), but I know I gleaned more in these five years than some who go on to obtain their Masters or doctoral degrees. One thing is for sure, I could never pursue something for myself. In fact, that's why my first few years at college were some of the most difficult in my life. I have grown to detest anything that has self-ambition written all over it. Although, I must stress that I believe college is the perfect option for many others, who are being called to use the skills/knowledge that they acquire there for the LORD's kingdom. However, there are many, like myself, who have not been called into that direction. Our Father has fashioned our hearts and He knows best where we belong and how to discipline and challenge us in that place.
Now, it's not that I don't love the pursuit of knowledge and education. I'm just more unconventional in my approach....with a dash of an old-fashioned mindset! In the words of Ms Paulina (a fellow blogger and dreamer!), "I've always admired autodidacts. People who take their education into their own hands, relying not on the system, but on the many (sometimes free!) resources available today." And, well, that's one of my goals now that I'm done with college. And, home is exactly where I'm learning. I cannot say how thankful and excited I am for this opportunity that my Heavenly Father has purposed for me.

I'm the kind of person that loves to dabble in everything, so I've found that, at home, my focus will continue in my studies of music, songwriting, herbalism, nutrition, sewing, cooking, baking, time management, various cleaning/organizational skills, and learning the practical, everyday,
'boring' things of life (haha!). Not to mention, my ever-growing book-list, which is both for spiritual and practical/homemaking purposes and learning. But, more importantly, seeking to learn character, perseverance, patience, listening-skills, and a whole host of virtues that only the Spirit could teach me, especially in regards to family and friend relationships. And, to start my day everyday, forever and always, seeking to grow in the love of Christ!

Some of my favorite blog posts as of late have centered around this topic and I have been encouraged by these sisters (two of which are stay-at-home daughters) in the LORD:

True Education ~ A Set Apart Life

Clinging to the Right Things ~ All She Has to Say

More on Godliness With Contentment ~ Practical Theology for Women

So, while my to-do list seems to be ever-growing, I have had to allow Christ to quiet me and focus my eyes on Him. It seems that in the heat of my pursuits and learning, and wanting to know skills and information to help my family and others, I often tend to follow it out in my flesh rather than the Holy Spirit's lead. In regards to this, Ms. Jasmine listed 3 truths that she has been learning and have found myself ever so thankful for them,
  1. The stress that I sometimes attribute to the incompetence or idiocy of others is actually a result of my own failure to see every difficult circumstance as an opportunity to magnify Christ.
  2. The stress that I often attribute to my inability to meet all of the goals that I set for myself is actually the result of my own failure to lean wholly on Christ and his finished work for my value (as opposed to leaning on my checklist).
  3. The stress that I often attribute to apocalyptic circumstances is actually not that bad in the big scheme of things... it's just the Lord gently (well, forcefully) reminding me that he holds the reins of my life.
Through the trials, He is still always opening up my eyes to the evidences of His grace around me. God is glorious and good, my friends.

I depart with a quote on Biblical womanhood that I found today:

We hear much about women’s liberation today. I want you to be liberated. Here is the path of genuine liberation for a woman: submission. Submission allows her to run on the track; it allows her to make beautiful music in her home. When you do what God intended a woman to do, when you are what God intended a woman to be, that is when you will be most free. ~ Jay E. Adams


Being surrendered and submitted to God is the first step towards Biblical, Christ-exalting womanhood. This opens up the door for Him to make us conduits of His grace, to be poured out on those around us, for His Glory!

5 comments:

Lina said...

You sound so much like me, Erika!

What a sweet surprise to find that you quoted me :)

I pray your journey is blessed.
I'm so glad I rediscovered your blog :)

Blessings!

Lina said...

P.S. I love the quote you posted at the end!!

maid_at_the_well said...

More like 1/2 cup procrastination! ;P

Gabs said...

Erika,

Thank you so, so, so much for this! Like you said, I have twice as much dream as vision! It is also hard to rest in the Lord's timing and schedule for my life. Here I am, graduating High School at 19, entering Jr. College while so many of my friends are well beyond me with AP credits, entering four year schools, some already in their Jr. year at college... I just want my life to start already!!! But He is so faithful in reminding me that my life has started! My journey of complete devotion, dependence, and obedience to Christ is a lifelong commitment and decision made each day, each morning.

If you had told me a few years ago, even last fall, that I would be at a community college 2-3 years before transferring to a university, I would have thrown a temper-tantrum. I didn't even want to go to college! You are an inspiration to me, sweet sister. Thank you for this beautiful post. May the Lord be gracious enough to teach me similar lessons in the years ahead.

Love,

Gabi.

P.S. I miss you! Chat???

Nolan said...

May the LORD continue to be your leader, and may you listen carefully to His calling even when it doesn't sound the same as the traditional worldly calling.