Putting her hope in God

God has been so good these past couple of days. I know he's good all the time, but sometimes I'm too self-absorbed to notice. He has not only come through for me, but he has gone above and beyond by blessing me. That is just like him.

Mary Knox is such a blessing to me:

"...It says about the widow [ in 1 Timothy 5:5,6] that 'she has placed her hope in God'--not people--not husband, kids, friends, church, circumstances--but she has placed her hope in God. Another one of my anchor verses during that year was Psalm 31: 14,15: "But I am trusting you , O Lord, saying 'You are my God!' My future is in your hands. "
I love the next verse: "Night and day she asks God for help and spends much time in prayer." Night and Day prayer. All the time prayer. It tandems with 1 Thess. 5: 17: Pray unceasingly [NASB] , pray continually [NIV], pray all the time [Message], pray perseveringly [Amplified]...and my favorite: NEVER STOP PRAYING [Contemporary English Version.]
How do you do this--this prayer that never stops? As Thelma Clark once advised me: 'Turn your thoughts into prayers.' This appealed to me, because during [my hard year], I could hardly read and I could hardly speak...but I could THINK. So I could do 'thought-praying.' ....
I've learned many different kinds of prayer. And what does this kind of prayer look like? Praise prayer, cry prayer, laugh prayer, scream prayer, dance prayer, silent prayer, humble prayer, desperate prayer, battling taekwondo prayer. It takes many shapes, many moods, many emotions, many sounds.
So this particular year, I've practiced battling taekwondo prayer. Someone wrote once: "If your God is so great, I dare you to try to win 'him' back with your prayers." Did I go HULK-RAGING-MAD??? You BET I did. I was like: 'Okay! the gloves are coming off. The battle is on!!!" 2 Cor. 10 3-5 says, "We are human, but we don't wage war with human plans and methods. We use God's mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devils' strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ."
And I'm learning about fasting prayer. We've been advised to fast for our family. Even fast weekly. My flesh was like, "Are you kidding me? Fast every week? Impossible! But we've started. And it wasn't even hard. And it was wonderful. And revelatory! When you fast and pray and read: God takes you deep, and leads you, and 'rhema's' you, and reveals things, FAST! [maybe that's why God called it a FAST. It's a Fast track to God.] So I'm really excited about fasting. The first few stomach growls are hard, but I just learned to offer them up as sacrifices. My verse was Romans 12: 1: "...give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice...When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?"
I recently read this wonderful book on parenting, by Ruth Graham. One phrase penetrated my heart: it was a line from one of her great poems: it say: SEE MY HEART UPON ITS KNEES. That's what prayer looks like.
1 Timothy 5 about the widow, has really stimulated me. I want to be a 1 Timothy 5 prayer warrior, before I age even further, and BEFORE I become a widow. I want to be this woman NOW!"


trying not to worry

Things keep coming up that generally prompt quite a bit of worry for me. Things like my car breaking again, or having too much due the next day, or having a friend come in from out of town but not being able to spend as much time with her as previously anticipated, or other things of that sort. The Lord is trying to teach me to have faith. Between the Sabbath book I read earlier this week and Brent's message today and an array of verses encouraging me to pray instead of worry, I am feeling that it is more than a subtle hint that it is something He thinks I need to work on. Sometimes I don't even know where to start with prayer in times of frustration, because I find myself just venting to God. I just want the peace he promises in Philippians.
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything and tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:6-7

It seems so simple, yet sometimes it is so hard for me to remember it when my transmission is smelling funny and lights on my dashboard are blinking.

How does God vote?

"The LORD Shatters the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes.
But the LORD's plans stand firm forever; his intenions can never be shaken.

The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
Don't count on your warhorse to give you victory - for all its strength, it cannot save you.
But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.
We depend on the Lord alone to save us. Only he can help us, protecting us like a shield."

~Psalm 33:10-11, 16-20

God = Big
Government = Small

"When problems come, do you worry or do you pray?"
~Brent Knox



I just washed my hair with new shampoo and I double conditioned, and now my hair is so soft. I can't stop playing with it.

Yes, it's a Friday night and I'm washing my hair.

Loving Ashley

Ashley's here to visit! That makes me so happy. I've even letting her take pictures of me which, due to the fact that I didn't shower today, I will later untag on facebook.

We went to Famous Dave's for dinner tonight. I always enjoy FD. Yes, I eat there enough to call it FD. I forgot what else I had to say about our trip to FD. I'll post later if I think about it.

The grad school venture is still in my mind. Have I even mentioned that? Well, my advisor is trying to convince me to go to grad school next fall. I love research, so why not? Anyway, the only problem is that there aren't very many grad schools for Communication Studies, specifically Interpersonal Communication Interaction, in MN. So I am trying to first narrow it down by looking for schools that are in cities that also have a GCM church, then deciding which of those cities I wouldn't mind moving to, then seeing which of those schools are small and waive tuition for their students who have assistantships. After all of that I will need decide whether or not this is something that is actually right for me. It's all a scary thought.

Oy Vay.

Off to play with Ashley!


Worry and anxiety would be byproducts of a fundamental doubt of the goodness of God, a suspicion that maybe God's grace is limited or not enough.

~Norman Wirzba
Living the Sabbath

Loving the Twin Cities

I was just reading Metro Magazine while I was eating breakfast this morning. In there they noted that the Twin Cities is the most literate metro in the country. Take that, east coast metros!

I love Minneapolis/St. Paul!



Tonight was ultimate procrastination.

After skipping both my classes today (one I actually went to for five minutes), I went to a group meeting. After which I came back to my room to make dinner and sit down to homework. As usual, I got distracted while making dinner, and ended up watching a Barbara Streisand movie on AMC and baking cookies.

On a different note:
I'm thinking about going to grad school. It is a very new thought, and not well developed. If I did it, I would go next fall. Growing up is so scary. I don't feel old enough to get my masters, but it would be wonderful! I could spend however long researching and writing and whatnot. My advisor talked to me about it today, and thought that I would be able to get into some of the better grad schools. Who knows. For now, it's just another thing to pray about.

I'm just contemplating about the Barbara Streisand movie I just watched. It was weird. Babs (as I like to call her) was a jewish girl in early century Europe who wanted to study the Bible, but she couldn't because she was a woman. So she cut her hair and dressed like a boy and became a scholar who fell in love with her study partner who was in love with some one else. The girl he was in love with wasn't allowed to marry him so he convinced Babs' character to marry the girl so he could be close to her. Because Babs was so respectful to the girl in marriage (meaning she didn't force herself upon her...obviously because she wasn't a man) the girl fell in love with Babs. So Babs loved the boy who loved the girl who loved Babs. Babs finally told they guy that she was a woman and he got mad then when she told him she loved him, he reciprocated the feelings and admitted that he had been afraid to touch her before because he had feelings for her even when he thought she was a he. Turns out Babs didn't want to marry him because he wanted her to quit studying after marriage so the guy married the girl and Babs moved to America. It was a love triangle at it's best.

That's all folks...



A Pharisee

I just wrote an entire blog post about how I was the classiest person at Cub Foods tonight even though I was wearing sweatpants and no bra (noting this was to emphasize how trashy everyone else was). Then I remembered Brent's message from yesterday and felt guilty, so I decided not to share my judgments. Anyway, thanks to the Pharisees ruining it for everyone, ya'll miss out on my entertaining story.


Looking Back

I have found that each year at Bethel has been different and unique.

Freshman year: Lots of fun and few responsibilities. It was a time where I still appreciated student life activities. I looked up to the upper classmen and could not imagine ever being that mature. I talked about living a radical life, and giggled with my girlfriends about all of the cute Bethel boys.

Sophomore year: This was a year of trials. I had a difficult living experience my first semester. Like any trying experience, I was refined. I learned the importance of striving to be the same person in the house and out. I also began to develop deeper friendships with fewer people. Second semester I had the chance to live with five other girls who strived to grow closer to the Lord and encouraged me immensely. This was also the year I learned that waitressing was not my life's calling.

Junior year: This may have been my favorite year at Bethel. I really began to grasp who I am. I found myself with a newfound sense of confidence that I hadn't had before. Due to my switching of majors, I had the chance to meet so many new and wonderful people. I fell in and out of crushes with various Bethel boys. I began to focus more on academics because I absolutely loved what I was learning. My main group of girlfriends shifted dramatically. This group of girls helped me draw close to Christ in a different way than my Sophomore girlfriends.

Senior year: To be honest I'm jaded. I don't have the drive to do homework. I only have one roommate. I love her to death, but when she's not here I feel like I don't have anyone to hang out with because the dorm we live in is not very social. When I walk into market (the main student social gathering place) or the library I generally don't recognize a soul. Many of my familiar faces have either graduated or are consumed with the business that comes along with being a senior. I don't know what I will do upon graduation in three months. I'm not sure if I've fully utilized my time at Bethel. I'm sick of people getting engaged. I do not want to be married or engaged right now, but I hate that I cannot relate to what my friends are going through. I feel left out. The thought of graduation makes me sad, exited, scared, empowered, frantic, anxious, grown-up, unprepared, and nervous all at once.

Please pray that I can figure this whole growing up thing out.


Tasting Fall

I didn't really think about fall until yesterday. Usually the start of school gets my mind completely in fall-mode. However, the fact that the first couple weeks of school were completely annoyingly hot gave my mind little room to think about the joys of autumn. Yesterday I was at a bridal shower (big surprise there) and they served pumpkin bars and candy corn. I remember thinking to myself, "hmm, that's weird." Then today I walked past Starbucks on my way out of the mall after work, only to be offered a sample of a Pumpkin Spice Frap. This I took rather eagerly mainly due the fact that I noticed that the sample was mostly filled with whipped topping (yum). I took a sip and that was when I realized that fall is emerging very quickly. To see autumn doesn't do it. I have to experience it. Taste the pumpkin, smell the spiced cider, and feel the crunch of leaves under my feet. I had my first taste of fall today.


Riding the Shuttle

It is raining today, which means I am forced to utilize the shuttle system at Bethel. I was a little hesitant to figure out the shuttle system, because the 10-minute walk each way too and from class is forced exercise. I generally get 40 solid minutes of brisk walking in on week days because of it. I hate to have the convenience of the shuttle system interfere with my daily activity. I would walk because to me it was more convenient than figuring out a new system...basically remembering the times that the shuttle leaves North Village (my apartment) and arrives at the RC steps or the CLC circle (main building). Now that I'm figuring it out, I'm afraid that I will opt for the shuttle route. No, that won't happen. I enjoy brisk walks all to much.


Remembering the Sabbath

I have a pretty good feeling I will be writing a lot about the Sabbath over the next couple of months. I am currently taking a class called Sleep Surrender and Sabbath. I originally signed up for it because it fulfilled one of my last requirements to graduate. I knew I would like it because the ideas of rest and the sabbath are not things I ponder on often. Perhaps they should be.

I started my assigned reading out of a book entitled The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Wow. That's all I can say. Tonight is the first time I have actually sat to think about what the Sabbath truly is, and what it really means to keep it holy. I highly recommend this book. It's only about a hundred pages. It could be read in one sitting. It was published in 1951, therefore it is one of those that has passed the test of time. Being Jewish, Heschel gives wonderful insights into what the Sabbath is. Here are only a few of the passages that I have highlighted in my book:

"Observance of the seventh day is more than a technique of fulfilling a commandment. The Sabbath is the presence of God in the world, open to the soul of man. It is possible for the soul to respond in affection, to enter into fellowship with the consecrated day."

"To the Romans technical civilization was the highest goal, and time for the sake of space. To Rabbi Shimeon spiritual life was the highest gal, and time for the sake of eternity...This, then is the answer to the problem of civilization: not to flee from the realm of space; to work with things of space but to be in love with eternity."

"The faith of the Jew is not a way out of this world, but a way of being within and above this world; not to reject but to surpass civilization. The Sabbath is the day on which we learn the art of surpassing civilization."

Please pick this book up and read it. It will allow you to wrap your mind around the idea of the sabbath.


Staying in

This morning I woke up with all intentions to tackle my first weeks worth of homework. Stephanie and I were going to make pancakes and then be productive after having a busy weekend. We made the pancakes, and sat down to watch some TV while we ate them, and then we stayed there until the fire alarm went off at 7:00 pm. We hustled to blow out our candle (which we are not supposed to have) then hid it and ran outside. We returned to actually do some homework for an hour then headed to cub to buy a brownie mix. We made brownies and sat back down where we had been all day. I am now heading to Vespers just to have a reason to leave the room.


Keep Out

I just realized that the fly on my favorite pair of jeans says, "keep out." That only solidifies the fact that they are my favorite pair of jeans. Perfect.


The StairMaster

Bethel is under construction right now. Luckily, it is no longer outside our bedroom window. Now we can enjoy the pleasant sounds of the trees in the wind instead of "BEEP BEEP BEEP" or "Charlie, hand me that hammer...NO THAT ONE!" or "Charlie got fired." We were not lucky enough, however, to avoid the construction completely. One main passage way leading from the AC building to the CC building is completely covered up. So in order to pass, one is required to go to the basement level because that is the only way through.

The class I TA for is in the CC building on the third floor. My prof sent me to Print Services on two separate occasions. The Print Services office is located on the third floor in the AC Building. This meant that I had to go down three flights of stairs then go about five feet and walk up three flights of stairs, hand Timmy (the boy at Print Services) the paper that needed to be copied, wait and chat with him for a bit, then hop down three flights of stairs, walk five feet, then trek up three flights of stairs. I was required to to that one more time during that class period. I won't even go into how many other times I have climbed the AC stairs...my other two classes are on third floor in the AC.

Now I must grade tests. I feel like I have so much power when I can grade tests.



Burn, baby, burn

Our room smells funny. It has since we moved in.

We bought an apple cinnamon plug-it-in thing. However, the one scented object in the outlet in the corner in the room does not give out enough of a scent to overpower or mute the stench of what smells like an old diaper. Bummer.

My mom bought me a candle that was on sale at Target. Do not buy candles on sale at target. They are on sale for a reason. I lit it, and the wick burns faster than the wax melts. So that does not work either. I need to get a candle that burns. We are not supposed to have candles at all because it is apparently a fire hazard. Bahumbug. Our current candle is definitely not a fire hazard because it doesn't burn.

I'm off to my smelly room.


...but there is more...

I'm just going to say that it's been a long day.

I was pretty bored after class. I went to Target, ate dinner, watched TV Land (that's how bored I was). Then around 9 Steph called me to pick her up from class so she didn't have to walk 10 minutes in pitch black. Bethel really needs to get better lighting. It's just not safe. I picked her up, and as I turned around, we hear a "rattle rattle, cktztkes buslksejlaksoi" (that is my car making not good noises). I pull over in front of one of the freshman dorms to find that my exhaust pipe fell off. I am annoyed that my exhaust pipe fell off, but I am even more annoyed that every man - I should say boy because none of them earned the title man from me tonight - I called lacked the willingness to come and help me. Stephanie's boyfriend came and helped us...eventually, but in the mean time we were stranded. Do not think I am a damsel in distress, because I am not. I knew what was wrong: my exhaust pipe fell off. I knew how to fix it: I needed some wire (or a wire hanger) to temporarily tie it up with so it didn't drag on the ground to create sparks. I did not need a man, I needed a wire hanger, but no men could even take the time out of their evenings to deliver one, and Lord knows women don't have women hangers because they do not keep the clothes as nice as plastic or wood hangers. I don't know what I'm more upset about: my stupid car being broken or the Bethel Boys' inability to man up.

I apologize for my mood. It is obviously out of line, and I am sorry. Please pray that I can have a good attitude, and that my car can be fixed very inexpensively. I am broke, and cranky, and want to cry. It's too late in the evening for me to deal with car stuff.

On that note...good night.

...and it continues...

I have officially been to my classes.

The first one is Group Communication. It will be a crazy amount of work and my prof is crazy intimidating. Wish me luck.

The second class is Media Communication. My prof introduced the class by saying, "There is good news and bad news. Bad news: I will be ending class early today. Good news: No final." I have a feeling it will be very hard to force myself to go to class more than once a week. Eh. In this class I answered to the wrong name when he took attendance. He said, "Sarah Weston." And I replied, "It's Sarah Jean." He took note then called the next name, "Sarah Whitson." I replied, "oops that's me. Sarah Jean Whitson. I just thought you pronounced my name wrong." Turns out Sarah Weston sad directly behind me. Why didn't she say anything? Timid, passive people bother me. It's okay, she's a sophomore. She'll figure it out.

Now I'm going to go read my book, because I have no homework. Of course.

Just the beginning...

So I started the first day of school today. I haven't even started classes yet. I have only attended the class that I am TA-ing for: Methods of Communication Research. I love it...it makes me want to go to Grad School. That is a scary thought.

I have a lot of things to comment on already today.

1) The walk from my apartment to class takes over 8 minutes. I will have nice legs by the end of the semester...unless, of course, I decide to give up on this cardio thing and take the shuttle that runs every half hour.

2) I saw a girl that lead on a good friend of mine today. I glared at her, but I think it was too late for her to see. Mean girl.

3) A girl waved at me, and then once she realized that I was not who she thought I was she avoided eye contact. I saw her ten minutes later and she still avoided eye contact. Poor thing.

4) I got lost trying to find the class I TA for. Finally I found a student in the class, who was also late, and he helped me find it. When I walked in Nancy (aka Dr. Brule) asked me to write my contact info on the board then proceded to tell the class that if they wanted to date me that they could get my number/email/PO Box on the board. Perfect. Luckily I knew most the class and they found it as amusing as Nancy did.

5)I walked into Market after Comm Research expecting to sit with Ashley. Then I realized that she graduated. I was very sad.

6) People thought my outfit was cute today...thanks to Mr. Fashion.

7) My coffee date was a half hour late...typical. I sat in Market looking like I had no friends. So I organized my planner and put all of the weddings/showers/engagement parties in. Barf.

More to come as I actually get on with classes.


A Fresh Start

I can't believe it's September. This summer flew by so quickly. Normally I really don't like summer, but I feel like this was a good summer, which is probably why it zipped by without notice.

I like September for many reasons. First, it's where summer hands off it's seasonal duties to fall - my favorite time of the year. Second, it's a new beginning. School starts; a fresh start. I can start new good habits. If I were a smoker, this would be the time I would vow to quit cold-turkey. Instead I am going to commit to exercising more. Please don't ask me how I'm doing with my commitment next time you see me. Finally, Routines pick up again. Ah, routines. I get giddy just thinking about it. The wonder of knowing my schedule off the top of my head. It's heaven!

I've been praying that the Lord would give me more opportunities to auction.

Good news on the auction front! The other day I had a gentleman caller at my apartment at Bethel, but I wasn't around so Steph told him to come back later. He did, later that day, but I still wasn't there - I'm a busy girl, what can I say. Then he came back Saturday night, and I answered the door in my sweatpants and a Cooks of Crocus Hill T-Shirt with my hair in a crooked ponytail. He put out his hand for me to shake it and said, "Sarah, I am Dan. I am an auctioneer and I have wanted to meet you since I read the article about you last semester." I didn't mention the fact that it was Steph who wrote it. I was taken back. He is a junior at Bethel. I welcomed him in and we chatted for a bit. I told him that I mainly do benefit auctions, and he said that there is one in November and he would like me to do it with him! It's black tie. How fun is that?! Then he asked if I would ever consider doing any auctions other than benefit. I said that I would, but I haven't had any opportunity. He then explained that he works for an antique auction company and that they were short staffed! He's going to call his boss for me. Praise the Lord! Then the next morning, I got an email from my professor saying that she wanted to plan an auction to raise money to send students to the next CSCA conference in St. Louis. God is good.

I love fall. I am so happy school is starting tomorrow. I'm a nerd.

Side note: I hope I'm as good looking as Cindy McCain when I'm her age. Both Candidates have very beautiful wives, but only one candidate has a beautiful VP! No offense to Biden.