Thursday, May 31, 2012

With One Voice - Scheduled Post #2

Many Hands, Many Voices, One Mission
Many Hearts, Many Voices, One Song

“With one voice, we will sing, every tribe and every tongue brings a harmony. With one voice we bring Heaven’s beautiful melody down to this earth as we sing to our King with one voice.
Oceans divide us, but we sing together. Now what defines us is our love for You. From every nation all across the borders. Together to bring a song to the world for your glory.”
~”With one voice” by Steven Curtis Chapman

“With one voice” by Steven Curtis Chapman has definite meaning during Foreign Language Week. He speaks of each tribe and nation having a harmony to the worldwide song we sing. That song is our mission. The song speaks of our love for God and beckons others to join in the marvelous harmony. Just as harmonious songs are lovely, so our universal mission is beautiful. Each tongue or language supports the mission song, just as harmony in a song sustains the melody. As Christians, our melody is the one Elohim sung at creation. The one Yeshua continued during his time on earth. Each person who loves God adds their own voice to the mix. And how lovely the song is in many tongues! God himself is exalted by the beauty brought by our mission song.
We give our hands to the song, lifting them high to praise Adonai’s holy and precious name. We join hands to dance together, to show others the joy we find in our mission song. We delight in this song, this dance of love. The Lord himself gave us the command to rejoice in Him. What better way to show our joy of worshipping God than to invite others into it? It is beautiful when a group of people sings harmony. But greater is their joy if someone new steps forwards and joins them in magnificent song!
That is our mission. We join our hands and our voices together to complete our mission. That mission is to add more harmonies to Heaven’s choir.

Sarah, grade 10

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Small bit of excitement

I'm very happy to announce that this month has received more views than any other month during the time I have had this blog! Yay!

And now I'm going to go back into hiding. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Where is your life story? - Scheduled Post #1

I remember those days shortly before fourth grade began. I saw a beautiful purple notebook with yellow stars on it, and I fell in love for the first time. An hour later, I held the notebook tight to my chest as we drove home. A few days later, when we went to the aquarium, I saw another tiny notebook, as big as my hand, that I fell in love with as well. In that small notebook covered in dolphins, I kept barely five entries. The purple one grew with me all the way to... well, its very last entry is waiting for this fall when exactly ten years will have elapsed.

In the purple journal, I have entries from late 2002 all the way through 2012, with entries describing big events. With any of the journals I kept, I enjoy rereading through the entries. It's very neat to go back through and see the kinds of things that were important to me. It's like... going back in time. Occasionally I would write down interesting dreams, so I can go back and remember the dream as it happened.

Writing has been part of me even before I started writing stories. The first story I wrote (with the exception of those horrid stories I wrote for school) was in 2005, when I read and fell in love with A Wrinkle in Time. I'm not sure why I decided to write, but I'm sure glad I did!

This picture is of the shelf in my room dedicated to my journals. There are a lot, but these were collected over a period of ten years. The first one is the journal I got at the aquarium. The first entry in there is from September 1, 2002, eleven days before the first entry in the purple journal. The last journal is my current journal, with the latest entry being just a few days ago - May 13, 2012. It's really crazy to think of filling all of these up with my thoughts or stories. Of course, some of those journals have only a couple entries in them, but many of them are filled to the brim with my thoughts or prayers. Yes, many of the later journals have written prayers in them. I believe I started writing my prayers in 2007, when a leader at youth group talked about how she wrote prayer requests down to see later when they had been answered. As a result of writing those prayers, I can now go back and see things I was struggling with when I was thirteen. I can trace my spiritual journey as well as my life journey. It's really neat.

Sometimes I feel a bit self-conscious about the journals, as I think about the future, and how someday my children or grandchildren might find an old box of my journals, and read through them to find out how life was like in my days. There's a ton of personal stuff in there, not to mention the fact that I sound extremely silly in many entries. I'm not going to expound on that.... heh heh.

Because I have been writing for over half my life (now THAT is a scary thought), I can watch myself grow and develop from the strange little eight-year-old that I was, to the confident young woman I am now. It's neat. And I know I'm not the only one with such a time capsule as this.

Are any of you artists? Compare your first sketch with your last masterpiece. Compile the pictures together and see what themes arise. I know, it sounds like the English classes in high school that you dreaded, but it is true! Look closely enough, and a story will arise from between the threads of a colored pencil to the arc of an oil paint.

Usually, a pattern can be seen in those who do arts. But what about the sciences? I would hope that any chemist or doctor would record in some way their growth from making baking soda volcanoes or dissecting worms to exploding gasses and surgeries. There is a story to tell in everyone's life.

For some reason, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time reminiscing about my life thus far. I'm not quite sure why, but I've enjoyed it to an extent. Sure, it's not fun to drudge up painful memories, but I do enjoy seeing how I grew through those experiences. Where did you grow? It's often the last thing on our minds when we are in a difficult situation, but adversity makes us grow. There is no denying it.

So where do you see your life story? Take a moment and think about it. What would you change? Then go and make your life so you wouldn't change anything about it now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I have taken the liberty of setting several posts on a schedule to post twice a week - once on Tuesday and once on Thursday. I have four set up, and I will continue to add them as I find time. However, I would appreciate some feedback from my lovely readers. What kinds of things would you like for me to post? I have a whole arsenal of poetry and short stories. Or would you prefer to see posts that I wrote some years ago that would be blog posts if I'd had a blog back then? I'll throw some of each into the scheduled posts, but please let me know.

Thanks! Have a wonderful day! Shalom!

Also, just for your enjoyment, here is a picture taken when I was six.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Is it summer even if I still have to take classes?

In about three hours, I will be preparing for the beginning of my first summer class: microbiology. This is one of the things that studying abroad did. Normally, nursing students take microbiology fall of their sophomore year, before clinicals start in the spring. However, because I will be abroad in the fall, I had two options: take microbiology in the spring and take it alongside clinicals, or take it the summer before studying abroad. I originally planned to take it in the spring, but then I decided to take my second semester of Hebrew independent study in the spring, so micro got pushed back to the summer. So that is why I will be dying the next six weeks. Well, more than just microbiology. As if that wasn't enough, I'm also taking Communications and History in order to get more general education credits finished. You see, I am also an adventure education minor. If I want to get anywhere near finishing the minor, I need to finish as many gen-eds as possible so I have room for the adventure ed classes. Communications is a 12-week class, also beginning today (though I sent in my first assignment yesterday, haha), and History is 8 weeks, beginning on May 30th. So if you see me during June, it will likely be due to procrastination. Or, I suppose, I could write a couple posts in advance and set them on a schedule to post so I don't have to later. *shrugs* I don't know for sure.

All that to say, I'm a bit nervous. While this is not the first time I'm taking a rather intense course in a short amount of time (remember January term), this is the first time since first grade I am taking a class in a secular setting. I went to Christian school from second grade (the little bit it was) to twelfth grade, and now I go to a Christian college. Right now I'm just praying I can understand the professor and that I end up with a good lab partner. I would also appreciate prayers that somehow, I can be a light to those in my class. In my lab sciences at Messiah and in high school, the professor would usually get excited about how cool God's creation was, and I would be super excited too. Now, I'm going to be the only one fostering that excitement. I hope I can keep it up, even when no one else can see why.

I hope you have a wonderful day! It's beautiful outside here, and even if it is not where you are, it is a new day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mom's Day!

In honor of the day that we set aside each year to celebrate the women in our lives, I have written a poem. Thanks Mom, as well as the other women I have adopted as mothers over the years as well. Who ever said mothers had to only be the woman who gave birth to you? :)

To be a mother

She means more to you than you know.
She is the first to understand you
You move, and she smiles at the days ahead
Eagerly counting down the days until
The barrier of flesh and distance no longer
Keep her arms from holding you

She sacrifices more than you know
She gives up time that once was hers
So you would be complete
She shares her heart with you
Sustains you before you could
Brings you, crying, into her world
Mother’s tears are gems

Those arms suddenly become more than arms
Their presence meant you weren’t alone
From fingers wiping away tears
To tickling your soft skin
From hands rubbing your back when you hurt
To holding you close
Hands are meant for loving
A mother’s hands are also meant for comfort

She gives hugs that are more than hugs
They fill you with warmth
They are arms of strength
They are the medium by which
She teaches you how to face life in the world
The world is a far cry from the safety of home
She doesn’t want to let you go
Yet knowing she must for you to grow

She teaches you that home is more than a place
It is where your heart resides
She knows you are not hers forever
That you are a gift to her
And a gift she must pass on to others as well
Mothers are born in the heart
They know when to adopt

Mothers mean more to us than we know

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

When it hurts to say goodbye

Yesterday marked a very strange day of remembrance for me, which of course I forgot about and instead remembered it today. Two and a half years ago, I lost one of my best friends. Three years ago, when I celebrated his birthday for the last time, I never imagined the possibility of losing such a friend. I don't think we ever really expect to lose friends that are so close to us, who we know so well. We don't expect to be betrayed in such a manner. We expect that this time of joy will continue going on and on.

But the reality of life is that it will not last forever. We must live life not in anticipation of tomorrow, but in celebration of today.

I don't know how long I have on this earth. Does it really matter? Should I not live life as if it were the last day I had on this earth?

It is for this reason that I always end phone conversations with my family with "I love you." I don't know if this is the last day they have, and even if it isn't, saying "I love you" is not going to do any harm to them.

Cherish every day.

I've been struck with the shortness of life through people close to me who have lost friends. While very few close to me have passed from this life, the friend I mentioned at the beginning of this post is lost to me in this life, though he still lives on. I will perhaps never see him again on this side of eternity, and I don't need to. And while the most painful part of losing him was not knowing where his soul was, I can pray for him. Once upon a time, I promised him that he would never be without a prayer. I have held fast to that promise, for it is a good promise.

So, for those with loved ones, love them. Never let them believe they are not loved. Spend time with them. Hug them. Tell them you love them. But don't let them live life without knowing that.

For those who have lost loved ones to the enemy's camp, never cease praying. Never forget them in prayers. Though their spiritual soul and physical body are beyond your sight for now, do not forget them. You can be that spiritual intercessor for them. Pray. And pray hard. You don't know when that chance will be snatched from you.

For those who have lost loved ones to the other side of eternity, I can hardly speak advice to you, for I have lost very few in this manner. Never forget. But please don't forget us in this life either.

The following poem is one that I wrote shortly after I lost my friend. I hope it brings hope to you.

When it hurts to say goodbye

When it hurts to say goodbye,
Shallow words are all that come
Prolonged friendship ends in sighs
Yet, there’s no doubt it is done

A stretched out hand pleas for more
But love has slipped into a quiet store
No more wasted, no more lost
It’s far too high a precious cost

When it hurts to say goodbye,
An ache comes in that doesn’t leave
Desperation in wait lies
When you take your heart off your sleeve

A cry for help, but no one will hear
The evil ones come close and leer
“You won’t find love, you’ll be all alone.”
But no one’s there; you are alone

When it hurts to say goodbye
Who is the one who bound up your hole?
Or else the wound would make you die
Who is the one who makes you whole?

The Lord of Lights held needle and thread
“I’ll bind you up,” he gently said.
You hadn’t heard him before, but now give away
Your heart to the only Truth, Life, and Way

When it hurts to say goodbye,
Adonai will hold your hand.
Memories, like the wind, will scatter by
God holds you close from dead, dry sand.

The sands of lost memories cease
The sands that held you from God’s peace
The dead sand that made your heart dry
Now turns to wet, the storm’s calm eye

When it hurts to say goodbye,
Only one revives your heart
When you thought you would die,
He brought you life, a brand new start.

Never forget.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May 5th

Today is a very special day, on several levels. It is Cinco de Mayo, yes, I know. There are two other things that occur on an annual basis on this day, and a third that is only happening this year. We are celebrating my sister's sixteenth birthday. Her birthday was last week, but this was the first time everyone could be together to celebrate.

The two other things though... It is International Day of the Midwife, and the 11-year anniversary of the day I was baptized. Both days mean so much to me, and the fact that they are the same day is just the icing on the cake.

 Speaking of cake, before I go and celebrate birthdays, here's a quick update

My freshman year of college is over! I am officially a college sophomore! Well, according to the records, I had enough credits to be counted as a sophomore before now, but I am done with my first year of classes. I had my last two finals yesterday, and then in the afternoon, my grandma drove up to pick me and my carload of stuff up and brought me home.

It is good to be back.

Although, I will have to drive back up to Messiah on Monday for a bell concert that night. After that, though, the next time I am back at Messiah may well be February! I'm trying to work out a J-term class called Wilderness Encounter for my Adventure Ed minor, that is not on campus. We shall see on that.

I got my plane tickets for Israel. Eee! It's a bit scary and very exciting. I'm nervous about making my first international flight by myself, but God will be with me, and that thought makes my nervousness seem bearable. I've done a bit of research about how much luggage I can take, and I wonder if I will be able to take everything that I need in the space I'm allotted. We shall see.