"By the Grace of God I Am What I Am"

If any of you have read my blog with any bit of consistency, you may know that I love Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest.  Oswald was a wise wise man, and today's reading was especially good:

"By the Grace of God I Am What I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain..." (1 Corinthians 15:10)

     The way we continually talk about our own inabilities is an insult to our Creator.  To complain over our incompetence is to accuse God falsely of having overlooked us.  Get into the habit of examining from God's perspective those things that sound so humble to men.  You will be amazed at how unbelievably inappropriate and disrespectful they are to Him.  We say things such as, "Oh, I shouldn't claim to be sanctified; I'm not a saint." But to say that before God means, "No, Lord, it is impossible for You to save and sanctify me; there are opportunities I have not had and so many imperfections in my brain and body; no, Lord, it isn't possible." That may sound wonderfully humble to others, but before God it is an attitude of defiance.
     Conversely, the things that sound humble before God may sound exactly the opposite to people.  To say, "Thank God, I know I'm saved and sanctified," is in God's eyes the purest expression of humility.  It means you have so completely surrendered yourself to God that you know He is true.  Never worry about whether what you say sounds humble before others or not.  But always be humble before God, and allow Him to be your all in all.
     There is only one relationship that really matters, and that is your personal relationship to your personal Redeemer and Lord. If you maintain that at all costs, letting everything else go, God will fulfill His purpose through your life.  One individual life may be of priceless value to God's purposes, and yours may be that life.

Good Grief, Charlie Brown

I very much enjoyed my weekend for many reasons.  However, despite all of the fantastically wonderful things that happened this weekend, I must say that it is nice to be back at my apartment.  I love love love my family, but I need need need need my privacy.  I'm now back at my apartment enjoying the peace and quiet and my cranberry pine candle. 

Last night we watched a Charlie Brown Christmas.  It's obviously a classic that always triggers holiday spirit.  They just don't make Holiday movies that convey the same message anymore: the reason for the season is Jesus (also I would like to apologize for that rhyming...I didn't mean to do it and I refuse to change it).  I think that's what I love about it so much.  Linus brings all of the hustle and bustle back to where it needs to be.

Side note:  I love the original very much for the reasons listed above, but I also like this rendition created by the Scrubs cast (I'm also very excited that I have figured out this whole posting of youtube videos thing).  I apologize that it's not as wholesome as the original Charlie Brown Christmas, but it's Scrubs...what can you expect?

Enjoy this, my friends.

Pray that I can get through these next three weeks.


This is the verse to memorize for the series Brent is giving:
"For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)


Saturday Morning

Congratulations to Laura and Thomas the Train (aka Thomas the Canadian). They will be getting married next August and I am very happy for them. I feel so blessed that we could celebrate with them last night at Loring Pasta Bar. Side note for those of you who didn't know: Bob Dylan used to live in the place where Loring Pasta Bar is currently. How neat is that? I feel like I've experienced history.

I have done no homework yet this weekend. I have plenty that I could be doing, but I just have been too busy with far better things. With that being said, I think I'm going to try to accomplish something today.

Enjoy the sun.



So much.

God is good. He is faithful. He is merciful. He is forgiving. He is understanding. He's just down right so so good to me.

I need to get some sleep tonight. It's been an eventful weekend. Oy Vay.



Get ready for an extremely girly post. Get over it. I am a girl. I love being a girl. It's no secret that I am a girly girl (let's be honest, I'm a make up artist). I hope you all love me and my girliness (not despite of it). With that being said, I will not apologize for the following content:

I'm waiting for my toes to dry. When I say "toes to dry," I mean I'm waiting for my toe nail polish that's on my toes to dry - this is very important insight. I was going to stop at Ulta tonight and pick up some exotic sounding color from OPI like "those aren't my toys" or "I-swear-I'm-not-a-waitress red." I ran out of time, so I'm at home using Revlon's "Valentine" color. It does not give the optimal shine or wear that I am looking for, but it will do for now, I suppose. I'm waiting for this coat to dry so I can finish it off with a high-gloss clear top coat. I am a stickler about my toe nails (my fingernails stay trimmed short with no paint). If I get one chip in the polish, I redo all ten toes: remove polish, clip, file, polish twice, top coat. This may sound superficial, but I promise you it's not...well it may be, but I don't care. I feel feminine when my toes are beautiful, and when they are not, it is just something I add to my list of ugly. It's important for me to feel feminine from head to toe (literally).

Now that I have shared with you some of the superficiality that goes through my mind, I must get to bed.

Thanksgiving is only two days away!


Santa Snitched

I just filled my gas tank, which was completely empty, for $19.01! Halfway through summer, I found myself praying at the pump, "Lord Jesus, please do not let it break fifty" and it reached $49.92...no lie. It is only $1.59 per gallon at the Exon Station on County Road E2 in Roseville. Speaking of gas...I was thinking, what if American gas stations all of a sudden started charging gas by the liter? People would be going wild over the crazy low prices, not realizing that they were paying per liter. Also, what if we did everything metric? No, that would be too logical.

Next time you see me, ask me to tell you the Santa story. It's too priceless to be told any other way than live, but I'll give you a sneak peek:
"Santa said he saw you steal..."


Donuts and Bourbon

I hate that I'm sometimes surprised when God answers my prayers. Did I not expect Him to listen? When will I ever learn? God is so good...so so good.

The Sunday Morning Show on CBS today was themed "Eat, Drink and Be Merry." It had me craving donuts and bourbon (I don't think I even like bourbon). Since then I've had a couple toaster strudels and a diet coke in attempt to satisfy the craving, but it has not worked.


Short and Sweet:

I need to find a job for after graduation.
I'm looking for a new car because the shaggin wagon pooped out on me.
I have to exchange the yellow bridesmaid dress I got for Steph's wedding because I'm bigger than I thought...always disappointing.
I have so much homework to do and only 3 and a half weeks to finish it.
I'm ready for Thanksgiving break.
Today I'm going to Nina's Cafe in St. Paul to finish a load of homework.
That's my little life as of now.

With much love,
Sarah Jean


Driver's Donuts

It got cold. Do you know what I mean? Like I feel like the world was a perfect temperature then all of a sudden, it got cold. I didn't realize it until this morning when I was driving and the man on the radio said, "it's cloudy here downtown and about thirty degrees but the temperature is about to drop." Yikes. I'm still wearing my fall jacket, which lost another button today. This was unfortunate given that I had no scarf and a low cut shirt on and there was nothing to block the cold air. I need to get a new coat, and sew the button on this one.

Today was a very good day. I woke up late, and initially had that "oh no! I slept too late. What will happen to me now?!?!" feeling, but then I stopped stressing and was able to get ready (shower, dry/style hair, makeup, get dressed, brush teeth, etc.) in a half hour! This was amazing. Then I went to get gas, and it was $1.79! I knew I would be late for work if I stopped at Starbucks so I got coffee from the gas station - which I always seem to enjoy - as well as a 6 pack of mini chocolate donuts. So in the car I drank my gas station coffee, ate my "driver's donuts" and listened to the current which had the most free spirited line up. It made me so happy that I literally said out loud, "Lord Jesus, I am so happy right now." Then I went to work. So mainly my drive to work was exceptional. I didn't even mind being stuck in traffic. Actually, I was a little disappointed when the traffic picked up again.

Off to class soon. I must finish/print my paper!



The Snuggie

I recently got a facebook message from my dear friend, Amanda Kogle. When I opened it, this is what I found:


Winter is fast approaching, and I thought to myself, "How can I stay warm through the long winter months AND make an ass of myself?" I believe I have found the solution!

This makes my life so happy. I wanted to share this yesterday, but I couldn't figure out how to post it on here for the life of me.


Exegesis continued...

Once I'm focused, I love writing papers.  I'm sitting on the couch in my apartment with my laptop on my lap, surrounded by a dozen open Bible commentaries with a candle burning the scent of cranberry and pine.  I have my cup of green tea and the "instrumental folk" station playing on pandora (I can't focus with songs with words because I tend to sing along, but I'm loving the guitar picking featured on this station).  I couldn't be cozier than I am in my red and black lumberjack pj-pants, my grey and purple grandpa sweater and my little slipper socks that my grandma gave me for Christmas a few years back.  This is a very nice situation over all.  



I'm finally writing my Exegesis paper for my Sleep Surrender and Sabbath class.  I've been meaning to do it for a long time, but it's due Wednesday so I actually had to start it tonight to finish it on time.  I'm done exegeting (finding the original context of a Biblical passage) the first six verses only verses 7-15 to go!  I'm saving the conclusion and contemporary application for tomorrow night.  I'm on a roll, so I cannot be distracted too long.


Bethany Auction

I just got home from doing the Bethany Academy auction. Can I just say that I love doing that auction? I like it for many reasons:
~It was the auction that first striked my interest in auctioneering.
~My mom is usually in charge of running it.
~It's fairly casual.
~It's themed. Tonight was called A Night in Paradise...A Hawaiin theme.
~The High Schoolers are highly involved in volunteering. I love working with the high schoolers. Tonight there were a bunch of senior boys who choriographed their own "tribal" dance. It was awesome! They wore grass skirts, and flesh colored beaters. No, you cannot buy flesh colored beaters, but because they were not allowed to go with out shirts, they dyed their shirts to make it look like they didn't have any on. They cracked me up all night. All the high schoolers got really in to the theme and dressed up. The girls were so eager to help. I love their willingness to serve their school.
~It's always a blast.

Anyway, we had a good time and raised some decent money. I love my job.


Nursing Home Blues

I'm watching the gospel music channel.  Is that more or less pathetic than QVC?  Sometimes I just need to zone out.  I was going to get up early this morning and be super productive.  However, my alarm didn't go off and I finally woke up as soon as 11:08 rolled around.  Sweet.  

So I haven't updated on Gloria (grandma) in a while.  As you know I lived with her last summer, and I plan to live with her again upon graduation.  Heres an update:
Grandpa Mac is still alive (LORD JESUS PLEASE TAKE HIM HOME!), and he is still in the nursing home.  Apparently my mom got a phone call from the nursing home staff saying that my grandma Gloria has been creating quite the ruckus when she visits grandpa.  For instance, if she can't easily get to a seat next to him while he's eating, she will shove all of the silverware to the floor and say, "Damn!"  Overall she is not very happy or nice when she is there.  This is seriously the saddest thing I could hear.  Gloria is the most thoughtful, caring, loving, kindhearted woman I know.  I would act the same way if I only got to see my soul mate a couple times a week during lunch and when I saw him he didn't talk or barely recognize me.  It breaks my heart just thinking about it.  Please pray for her.


Dirty November

Well, the snow melted.  That's November for you.

This whole graduation thing has me frazzled.  My mind is constantly going a million miles an hour in about a thousand different directions.  There have been a handful of times this week where I have just cried for what seems like no reason whatsoever.  I could be standing in line getting lunch, or even in class.  I'm sure people think I'm sort of a crazy person, but sometimes you just need to cry.  Perhaps the tears are just trying to rinse my mind clean.  It's funny how our bodies work to take care of us.  I have been go go going so fast the past couple of weeks that finally last night my body decided to make me too sick to stand.  It was like my insides were trying to tell me "SLOW DOWN!  If you don't do it on your own, we'll just have to make you."  That's the way it went.  I was too sick but do anything but rest.  So I went to bed at 9:30 last night.  Today I'm listening to my body and I'm skipping class all day to just rest.  Less than 5 weeks to go.

So, I just sent my resume and totally forgot to attach a cover letter.  What was I thinking?!  



There is snow on the ground this morning.  I'm still inside my apartment wearing a towel and drinking my coffee, which is why this scene is so beautiful.  However, as soon as I get ready and head out to my car, I will find myself inconvenienced by this blessing.  I have an awesome heated ice scraper somewhere that I won at a bridal shower, but I don't know what I did with it.  

That's all really.


Tyranny of the Urgent

I have so much to do and so little time to do it.  Today I micro-organized my life.  I made a list of the days from now until December 17th (GRADUATION!), and I listed almost to the hour what needed to be done that day.  I already have my work schedule through that point so it made it easier to create an agenda.  Tonight, for instance, I need to update my resume, finish my Group Communication journal, email my professor, go to ATL (ann taylor loft) and pick up a shirt, and I may bake cookies.  Anyway, I was about to get started on the resume stuff, and Jenna texted me asking if I could meet for dinner at 5 (it was 4:41 at the time).  I haven't seen Jenna, one of my dearest friends, in nearly a month so with out hesitating I said, "YES!"  Here I am, two hours behind schedule, but satisfied with my decision.  I read this book last year, Tyranny of the Urgent, which focused on prioritizing what is important but fitting in what is urgent immediately.  Jenna was urgent.  I guess I'll push the group comm journal until tomorrow morning. 

I go down town tomorrow for an informational session at a company I would LOVE to work for.  I just found out they have a research department that does some pretty cool stuff.  I love research!  I'll get to meet some important people!  Wish me luck...no, pray for me.

Off to the important stuff.


Fruit Filling

I really like toaster strudels.  I just picked some up from Target.  Unfortunately I left it in the toaster too long, so the fruit filling was boiling and it burnt my tongue.  Ouch.  

I want to find a grown up job.  I graduate in about 5 weeks and I have no idea what I am doing.  Prayer would be nice. 

"I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me.  God is using me from His great personal perspective all He asks of me is that I trust Him."
~ Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest (November 10th)



First of all, I would like to say that the people who live in the apartment above us keep making this squeeky-squeeky sound.  It definitely sounds like they are...well, you know.  Steph has come to the conclusion that they are playing DDR.  Nonetheless, it is annoying and I wish they would stop.

So I just got back from the North Heights Christian Academy Auction.  I tag-teamed it with Colonel Dan Swenson (I am Colonel Sarah Jean Whitson BTW, but I choose not to use the title).  We rocked the house and raised over $50,000! There were 51 items to sell, and we did it in just short of two hours.  I was nervous and flustered going into it, but after lots of prayer I was calm and having a blast.  Our tag-teaming efforts were a hit.  If I did the auction alone, people would be annoyed by my higher female voice.  Likewise, if he had done the auction alone people would have been put to sleep by his baritone chant.  We took turns selling every other item.  The variety kept people's attention through the entire two hours.  I love auctioneering!  We booked the auction again next year.


In Denial

Obama won.  In the back of my mind I am wanting to believe that it is a huge scandal and we will later find out that he did not win.  However, I know that won't happen.  A girl can wish though, can't she?  Looks like we'll be sharing the wealth.  All we can do is continue to pray.

I have gotten to that point in the semester where I cannot focus on anything school related.  I have a big paper on Psalm 92 (song of the Sabbath) due in a couple of weeks, and I haven't even thought about it yet.  I'm going to try to head to the Seminary Library for a couple of hours to begin researching.  Wish me luck.  


I Voted

I voted today. Who knows who will win, but I have done my duty. My mom wore her Sarah Palin shirt to the poles and the lady giving her the voter card told her she was breaking the law. My mom replied, "Too late." You go, mom! I don't think she successfully persuaded anyone to vote for McCain by wearing her shirt anyway. Too bad. Also, when I told the man handing out the stickers that my roommate didn't get one because she voted absentee, he had pity on her and gave me two extra stickers! So I got my sticker + two! That means I can give one to Stephanie and wear one tomorrow.

So That was my excitement for the day. Keep on praying!


Another one bites the dust...

Just kidding.  This is happy news.  Stephanie, my roommate, and her boyfriend, Elliot, just got engaged like a half hour ago.  

Congratulations to the soon-to-be Elliot and Stephanie Wise!



I can't think straight.  I currently have so much running through my mind that I can't slow it down to comprehend the thoughts.  Please, dear friends, pray that I will have clarity of mind.  

I also want to take a moment to apologize to my friends.  Dear friends, I have been a terrible friend.  I do not call you, I do not make effort to see you, and when I do see you it is brief and superficial.  Please do not take these acts of disconnectedness personally, because I guarantee that this is the way I have been treating all of my friends lately.  Take Stephanie, my roommate, for instance.  She is my roommate and I have probably seen her a total of 3 hours in two full weeks.  We live together, and I have only seen her for three hours!  So, if you do not live with me, it is certain that I have seen you even less.  For this I am sorry.  Please be patient with me.  I have so much going on that I am even struggling with finding time for myself.  I could not tell you the last time I spent time in the Word.  As I type, I am on the verge of tears because it breaks my heart to know that I have neglected my friends, my Lord, and myself.  Once again, I plead for your patience.  I promise to be a better friend upon graduation.

With all the love I can dig up,
Sarah Jean



Two posts in a row about breakfast...sort of. Although pancakes are generally a breakfast food, I am eating them for dinner. It's a Saturday night and it's only max and myself at home. Max was tired, and therefore cranky, so I made us pancakes for dinner. He felt better after he saw that I cut his pancakes in star shapes. Yeah, I'm a pretty cool big sister.

Well, I have to go and finish my Bible study for tomorrow. I am behind. Oops.

Enjoy your extra hour of sleep!