“Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” ~ Isaiah 64:8

Tonight I was reading my Bible before bed, and I stumbled on this verse as I was finishing up Isaiah. I thought to myself – what a cool image! We are put in God’s able hands, and through His strength and His time and effort, we will become beautiful works of art. (Pause to go back to one of my favorite verses of all time ~ “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago”). The Lord has really worked in my life, changing and molding me and shaping me into this beautiful young lady, so that I can live my life for Him.

Last week, I went over to an old friend’s house, and he has a ceramics wheel (Is that the proper term? Probably not). Anyways, I was so excited to make my first beautiful masterpiece, so I quickly watched my friend do it, decided it was a piece of cake, and then sat down, confident in my abilities as a potter. Man, what hard work! I never realized how much time, and especially patience it takes for a piece to really come together. I messed up multiple times, got frustrated, and almost gave up. But then I centered myself, and let the patience really guide me. When I was finished, I had a beautiful, albeit lopsided, new salad bowl. I was worried about the lopsidedness, but my friend assured me that it’s uniqueness is what would eventually give it its beauty. I was so proud of that dang salad bowl that I almost failed to realize what had actually happened. Enter biblical metaphor…

1) I spent time and energy making a beautiful piece of art. (God made us painstakingly, sparing no detail.)

2) My art was imperfect, but still will serve the purpose that I intended for it. (God’s art was created in His image, but sin flawed us and made us imperfect. That being said, we are still masterpieces, put on Earth to live a life for God.)

3) It was severely flawed, but its flaws are actually what make it beautiful. (God loves us despite our flaws, and if sin didn’t exists, we would have no reason to be close to God.)

All in all, I love this passage as it shows us humans as being beautiful, despite our flaws. God has spent an infinite amount of time, molding, crafting and shaping us. And He does not stop until it is serving His intended purpose – even if the “clay” resists His initial attempts. There is redemption for everyone, and through Christ, everyone is saved.

 

14 Things I Learned In The 14th Grade

Even though I learned most of these things in the “13th grade”, this is a good post.

Thought Catalog

Pitch PerfectPitch Perfect

Ahh 14th grade, more commonly known as sophomore year of college. In my opinion, sophomore year is such an awkward year.  You are past being a little baby freshman, but you aren’t yet at the status of an upperclassman. In high school, people used to say sophomore year was the year of the “wise fools,” meaning you are past the nervousness and uncertainty of starting a new chapter in your life, but you still haven’t grasped it yet and are still a complete idiot when it comes to life. I couldn’t agree more with this concept. After freshman year, I thought I had a grasp on life, on love, on school, and on college. Lol was I wrong. Sophomore year was truly a learning and eye-opening experience (that flew by faster than I can even explain) and I’d like to share some things I learned. Just a little…

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Passion.

Saturday night, at 12 in the morning, someone asked my friends and I what we want in a husband. All of my friends rattled off a long list of things that completely don’t matter  like “handyman” or “outdoorsy”, but not me. I sat there and I said one word: passion. I want my husband to have passion for me, for our family, for his career, for his interests. Because if a man has passion for something or someone, then he will fight for it for all of his days. I don’t care what my husband looks like, what he does for a career, or what his hobbies are. If he does them with passion, then that’s all I need. 

Our hamartia.

Recently, I went into the Verizon store with my friend because she was having trouble with her phone. We were helped by one of the tech-savvy salespeople, and while we waited for his computer to boot up, he talked to us about a new promotion that Verizon is having called “Edge”. Basically, Edge allows customers that already pay the highest amounts for their data plans, usually a family plan with multiple smart phone lines, to pay and extra $2-4 a month so that they can upgrade more frequently. People enrolled in this program pay more every month, so that they can pay more every time a new phone comes out, up to 12 times a year. The phone is not free people, it’s discounted. You still have to pay every time you want a new phone. In other words, people are so impatient now that they are paying extra money every month just so they can upgrade their perfectly good iPhone 5 to the newer iPhone 5S. You might be thinking that this makes logical sense, because it kind of acts as a cheaper form of insurance (regularly $10 a month on an iPhone). Nope. You’d be wrong, my friend. The phone must be in good working condition for you to upgrade – if you break the phone, you have to wait just like everyone else, or you can pay the $650 retail price. No thank you.

For some reason, this encounter really hit me hard. Almost all of Verizon’s marketing is aimed towards the Millennial generation (ages 18 – 33), which means that this campaign is targeted at my friends and I. Now, I know that my generation is very impatient and we want everything NOW, no exceptions. When we have to wait for more lives on Candy Crush, we get really annoyed. Because we have to wait. For a video game. We truly are the generation of instant gratification. Between everyone in my generation having his or her own computer, and most of us having a smart phone, it’s a wonder we can tolerate waiting for anything. 

All this being said, I still think Verizon is sending a really terrible message. If we can’t wait 20 months for our phone contract to be up, how on Earth can we wait 30 whole years to pay off our house. Or be married to one person for our entire lives? No wonder the divorce rate is so high, and people are defaulting on their mortgages left and right. Not only do companies see this, but they are playing right for this fatal flaw of ours. They are telling us that it’s okay if we can’t make up our minds, or if we want to change our minds after we have already committed to something. And that is the biggest consequence of all this – commitment issues. Being a college student, I live in a concentrated environment where most of my day to day interactions are with people in this age group. Even some of my professors fall under the upper-end of the “Millennial” generation. And everyone I know with the exception of a few people have MAJOR commitment issues. If a guy is in a relationship with a great girl, but another girl comes into the picture and she is willing to have sex right now, then many times the boy will cheat on the girl. Instant gratification. We can’t commit to anything for the long-term, and that makes me really sad. 

Even though this post is more on the cynical side, I do think there is hope for our generation. If we learn how to break the cycle, and learn to wait for something good to come, then I see this issue going away. After all, good things come to those who wait.

 

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Today I have been off in my own little world. I guess you can call it daydreaming, but having little to no contact with anyone else for an entire day makes my brain go places. And for the first time, in a long time, I was really happy to be alone. I didn’t think about anyone else, which was surprisingly very nice. I daydreamed about traveling, just being on my own, and everything else that I am going to do with myself in the coming months and years. I’ve already learned things about myself that I never would’ve found out if I hadn’t taken the time to just be still. I have spent my life so far just running and moving, never stopping to just be. God wants us to be still – to listen to Him, but also to listen to ourselves. That is the problem with living a life that is constantly in motion – you sacrifice some important things in your life without realizing it. It was a nice refresher today to go to class and get things done, but also to be somewhere that I really wanted to be. 

Along with this whole week of self-introspection, I’ve realized some things about my life that I’ve been lying about. I think I am finally ready to do the necessary work in my heart to make the changes I need to make in order to live the life I want to live. Most of the issues are little things that I need to do to make myself stronger physically, but the hard part will be making myself stronger mentally. These parts of me are things that I am keeping, hoarding from God, not letting Him close enough to help me do the painful work that I’ve needed for so long. The number one thing that God has shown me that I need to surrender over to Him is comfort. I like love being comfortable. I am happiest when I am in sweatpants, curled in blankets on my bed with only Netflix for company. I love it, but I’ve realized that I have been spending wayyyyy too much time in my comfort zone. Being close to God is not comfortable. I honestly believe that God’s plan for my life is not as comfortable as I’d like it to me. It will be a tough change, with lots of pain at first, but when it’s over I will see myself in a better place. I can hold myself to higher expectations, seek more out of my life. I am ready for these changes. I am ready for God to chisel away at me until I see myself as the daughter that God sees me as. 

Hopefully at the end of this season of change, I will be closer to God than ever. More of my life will be surrendered to Him, and I will be in a better place both physically and mentally. I am ready to be still, and know that He is God, and that He is in charge of my life. Tomorrow I am going to have my quiet time while I watch the sunrise on the ISAT balcony porch. Today was day 1, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for day 2.