Tuesday, March 30

Comic Relief

A guidebook on the many expressions of Kristin's face, courtesy of PhotoBooth. Just so you can identify them later.

I-am-so-not-happy-to-be-in-the-hospital-and-I-dislike-IVs look (No worries, I try not to use this expression while at work in the hospital)

I-am-so-tired-I-could-fall-asleep-at-the-keyboard-but-I-have-to-finish-this-paper look.

I-am-bored-out-of-my-mind look

Ugh-do-I-really-have-to-write-this-paper look (This one is coming into more frequent use of late)

Hurray-I-am-so-super-excited-I-can't-contain-myself look (This will become more frequently expressed as the previous look declines in popularity)

Oh-dear-what-am-I-going-to-do-with-this-wild-mop-of-hair look (This look is near daily in its frequency of use, though it is mostly limited to morning hours)

And yes, I ought to be writing a paper instead of posting this. Though, likely, you ought to be writing a paper instead of viewing it.

Monday, March 29

Disorderly Musings on Joy

True, deep, indwelling joy is one of the most overwhelming gifts of God. Recently, I've felt like I might just burst I'm so full of blessings from God.

Several years ago, I remember praying a prayer. I was tired of circumstantial joy. And I was beginning to realize that joy that comes from any source other than God Himself is no more than a counterfeit. I prayed and asked God to help me truly learn to allow Him to be my source of joy-- regardless of circumstance.

I certainly haven't "arrived," but God is good and has brought me so much closer to fulfillment of that prayer. Africa had a lot to do with that. But then, so did other things. Honestly though, I think in the growing process, the thing that has most helped me to this point is a recognition of where my blessings come from. The consciousness that every good thing that comes in my life is a gift straight from my Father above has helped my love for God grow immeasurably. (James 1:17)

I think a great majority of people on Earth are living life half asleep-- unaware of the presence and prominence of God in their lives. And in part, it is this unawareness, unconsciousness that deprives them of the abundant life that God has promised for this life and eternity.

I've always been slightly envious of those with infectious personalities. You know, the people that everyone loves to be around because they are just so full of life. The ones who can make you smile just by being present, the ones that breathe joy.

So I suppose it's time to modify my prayer. I truly hope that God can take this joy He's poured into my heart and let it flow out to others. I hope that He can give me a passion to share my Source of joy that others can have the same indwelling joy that brings life more abundant.

Saturday, March 27

Amazing Quote

God knows just what we need when we need it. Some of my housemates and I are reading through a book together, and I needed to hear the chapter we read tonight. Here's one quote we came across that was absolutely amazing:

"Why should we come to Jesus Christ? Not for our own benefit. We should honor and serve and love and give our lives to Jesus Christ even if we were to go to hell at the end of the road... because He is worthy!" (Paris Reidhead, "Ten Shekels and a Shirt," www.sermonindex.com).

Friday, March 26

It's Official...

God is good. And funny.

Praise the Lord, it is official-- I am graduating in May. By some miracle, I was able to finish my correspondence class today, a mere day before the deadline. And I am thrilled. I learned a lot and enjoyed the material of the class, though not the design.

Last night I left Bible study in exhaustion. I did not want to study, I did not want to do anything. My brain was protesting its cruel treatment of late. I decided it would be beneficial to go straight to bed and wake up super early to study in the morning. Unfortunately, I have recently acquired a bad habit of turning off my alarm without realizing it and sleeping too late. I was slightly terrified of the prospect of this occurring this morning because I had not studied at all for my final. So in preparation, I set my alarm and left it across the room on my desk, prayed, and went to sleep.

This morning, I awoke in panic, vaguely remembering turning off my alarm and falling back asleep. I sprang out of bed, checked the time-- 7:53 AM! My test was scheduled for 8 AM. Oh dear. Then...

I awoke in panic! Wide awake, I jumped out of bed, ran to my desk, and checked the time-- 3:54 AM. I let out a giant sigh of relief. My alarm was set to go off at 4 AM. God knew I needed the time to study, and He kindly woke me at an adequate time. I was able to have worship, eat, study everything thoroughly, and arrive in plenty of time for my test, which I think went well.

God is good. And funny.

Wednesday, March 24

Where's the Lion?

For shame,
Oh, hesitant Spring.

--------------------------------------------

I wrote a poem with these as the ending lines, but I didn't like it. When the door was open this morning for a few minutes, I realized how very chilly it was, and I thought these two lines. I wanted to write a poem to support them, but unfortunately, creativity and time are lacking, which makes for poor poetry. So for now, you can imagine the rest of the poem ;)

Update: I retract. It's gorgeous outside. And quite warm too.

Sunday, March 21

Independence is a Virtue?

I just stumbled across a blog in which a woman wrote a letter to her future husband. The title caught me off guard and piqued my curiosity. It said, "Dear My Future Husband, I am not Waiting for You Anymore."

As I began to read through it, I was taken by surprise at this woman's reasoning. She said she wasn't waiting for her future husband anymore because she didn't need him to be complete. I thought, "How insightful of her. I'm impressed because many girls don't realize that." However, the rest of the post made it quite clear that that was the end of our common reasoning. She went on to say that she was perfectly complete and content without him, that her two dogs, hobbies, interests, and other aspects of her life were enough to fulfill her needs. This was not to say that she didn't look forward to meeting her future husband and sharing her life with him, but rather that he was not necessary because the other things that she had filled her life with were enough.

I find this sad for one main reason. Nowhere in this post was the name of God mentioned. This woman feels completely content because of the things that fill her life, because she herself feels complete. This, to me, is tragic because it is so exemplary of the all-too-common belief in today's society that God is not necessary; God is not the one who is bringing contentment by filling people's lives, but rather things and self are filling that void. Independence is a virtue touted by society, and I'm afraid that it's having a crippling effect on humanity because just like the toddler who proclaims, "I can do it myself!" humans are training themselves to reject the truly necessary helping hand God offers.

Friday, March 12

Art Ministry


This is another idea Christen gave me as a way to keep Sabbath while I'm at work in the hospital. These cards have encouraging Bible verses on them, and I'll be giving them out to patients tonight. Thanks to all of you who were able to come and decorate cards. We'll be doing it again sometime; I'll let you know when. Happy Sabbath!

Wednesday, March 10

Misunderstood

You may or may not believe it, but when I was younger, I was intensely shy. Intensely. In fact, I was so shy that I rarely spoke except to my brothers and parents. I remember more than one occasion where my timidity was severely misunderstood. One day in particular when I was about 11 or 12, I will never forget.
My mother came up to my room to talk to me. I can't recall her exact words or how she brought up the topic, but she told me that one of our neighbors, a good friend of the family, thought that I didn't like him and that I was snobby. I burst into tears. It was terribly frustrating to be so severely mistaken. Snobby? I have my character flaws, but snobbiness has never been one of them, and it truly was a deep blow to my sensitive soul.
I very strongly dislike the emotions that misunderstanding brings up for me. In fact, I might argue that for me, being misunderstood is one of the most wounding circumstances. I've tried to figure out why, and I can think of two main reasons. The first is that I care, possibly entirely too much, what others' opinions of me are, and when others misunderstand me, I feel as if I've somehow failed at representing myself. The second is that feeling misunderstood creates a feeling of deep aloneness.
Jesus, better than any man, understands the deep wounds of misunderstanding. I was reminded of that this morning in my devotions. In Desire of Ages, Ellen White says this of Jesus when beginning his ministry:
"Though He was the Prince of Peace, His coming must be as the unsheathing of a sword. The kingdom He had come to establish was the opposite of that which the Jews desired. He who was the foundation of the ritual and economy of Israel would be looked upon as its enemy and destroyer. He who had proclaimed the law upon Sinai would be condemned as a transgressor. He who had come to break the power of Satan would be denounced as Beelzebub. No one upon earth had understood Him, and during His ministry He must still walk alone. Throughout His life His mother and His brothers did not comprehend His mission. Even His disciples did not understand Him. He had dwelt in eternal light, as one with God, but His life on earth must be spent in solitude." (111)
God the Father, too, has long borne with the hurt of misunderstanding. Satan has done everything in his power to create a false picture of God, and the world at large has accepted that image. Everything that God is not-- cruel, unforgiving, heartless-- Satan has widely succeeded in convincing men that He is. I cannot begin to fathom the deep agony that the great deception of men has caused God. And yet He bears it, and bears it long, that one day His character may be revealed in truth and light to all. And one day, all creation will acknowledge the true face of God; His character will be vindicated.
I just pray that until that day God will give me the strength and will to represent His character well before the world that I come into contact with. Because it pains me to think that I am often the cause of some of that pain of misunderstanding to God.

Friday, March 5

Verdict: Not So Brave





Sorry, Alex. No razors, no baldness. I got about 3-4 inches cut off,
and despite appearances in the pictures, I did not dye my hair.








I find it amusing that my hair l
ooks light and blonde in the before picture with the whitish background, and looks somewhat more red and dark next to the brick wall. Perhaps I'm part chameleon...


Thursday, March 4

The Time Has Come...

Time for a haircut? I think so. The question is, how brave and adventurous am I feeling?

Tuesday, March 2

One Snowy Spring Break Morning

It is March. In southeastern Tennessee.

video

My commentary on this next one makes me laugh. This is why I avoid impromptu speaking.

video

*If you want to see these videos slightly larger, click here.

Monday, March 1

Myers-Briggs

According to this site, I am an:
I = 56.67%
N = 53.33%
F = 51.52%
J = 74.19%

The following information was found here.

Extraverted Feeling reaches out to attach and interact with other living things . . . nurturing relationships. It is about validating and valuing others, encouraging, coaching, educating and motivating. It is protecting, helping, and caretaking. The Extraverted Feeling mind organizes action consistent with values, beliefs, spiritual foundations, and sense of humanity - how people (and other living things) ought to be treated. Extraverted Feeling promotes collaboration, a shared sense of community, and harmony in interpersonal relationships.
Extraverted Feeling (Fe) is dominant in ESFJ & ENFJ and supportive in ISFJ & INFJ personality types.

Introverted Intuition reflects on patterns, relationships, symbols, meanings, and perspectives on matters from complex phenomena to magical connections to practical problems. The Introverted Intuitive mind typically creates a unique vision and arrives at unique insights about things, phenomena, or people. It strives to discover the essence of things and fill in the missing pieces of a puzzle. Introverted Intuitive types frequently will have complex visions or perspectives that they are unable to explain with clarity to others.
Introverted Intuition (Ni) is dominant in INFJ & INTJ and supportive in ENFJ & ENTJ personality types.

This is an interesting description of the dominant introverted intuition traits in INFJs and INTJs found here:

Without introverted intuitives, it is said that Israel would have had no prophets. Under deceptively conventional appearances lie perceptive minds that travel the breadth and depth of universal mysteries, contemplating its multilayered complexity, seeking the trends that will define the future. With time, clarity of vision comes. When it comes, they are propelled towards the vision and all their actions lead to it. They are perseverant behind a quiet exterior and will often come back with their vision long after everyone believes they have let it go.

What they see is so clear and obvious to them they are often surprised to find that others cannot see it as well. They may find it difficult to articulate the necessary steps towards implementation or to explain how each goal fits into the larger picture.

Their mind usually travels from the past to the future, seeking to fit a particular situation in a large context. It picks up patterns, symbols and images from different seemingly unrelated fields, identifies similarities and provides meaning. This can help solve problems by juxtaposing ideas, finding analogies or simply by rooting out the quintessential reality, discovering the origin in universal stories and human experiences, culling wisdom from the infinitely small to the infinitely large. Their mind naturally travels from the microcosm to the macrocosm.

They regularly have to face the difficulties of bringing dreams into reality. The time and effort it takes is always more than what their intuition initially suggested. They are determined, perseverant, inspired and often see things just around the corner, into the near or far future.