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Today I Am…

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Today I am…
…drinking: Chamomile tea, which fit the day’s mood just right. I’ve always had a weak spot for chamomile, and sometimes crave its mild, soothing cheerfulness.
reading: P.G. Wodehouse’s The Catnappers (I do love a good Jeeves-and-Bertie), Elizabeth Elliot’s Let Me Be A Woman (outstanding, and at just the right time for me), and various homework bits about photography.
…photographing: The thin-but-warming winter sunshine, and a little dog who lives for those few hours of warmth in the afternoon.
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…enjoying: The zephyrs of fresh air that keep slipping into the living room from the deck door. There’s a certain lovely magic in letting the first springish air into the house…if I could, I would drink it by the cup. It has such a perfume.
…wanting: Spring to arrive for real! Of course, where we live, it usually appears in late February, so I won’t have long to wait. I do so love Spring.
…praising Jesus for: The answers to prayer He is speedily bringing about in many areas that need it, both in my life and others’. Also for His consistency, beauty, gentleness, and unending love towards myself, who least deserves it. His love staggers me.
…wondering: Which of my friends will succumb this spring to the curious love-sickness going around. ;) I kid you not, they are falling like flies! Engagements, weddings, new relationships on Facebook…it simply doesn’t end! But I don’t begrudge them their happiness…it makes me dream happy dreams of my own special days of bliss as a mother and wife that I trust are yet to come.
…loving: Being able to wear skirts with impunity in the milder weather.
…trying: A modified Curly Girl method for my hair. I’ve been rather abusing it with heat and hairspray recently, and have enough wave to make it worth encouraging. I’m on Day 2, and am surprised at the curl already appearing. It makes me wonder what kind of potential it actually has! If you have any kind of naturally curly/wavy hair, I’d encourage you to visit the Curly Girl website: naturallycurly.com. They have tons of fabulous tips and tricks in their articles and forums. I’d like to try one of the protein treatments today.
Off to massage gelatin through my hair,
Laurie

Trials are Normal

Today has been a rather heavy day in the process of rooting fear out of my life, but in the midst of it all, the Lord reminded me of something very good that I thought I'd share with you.

So often when I go through a trial, I find myself thinking about where I might have gone wrong. What path did I take that led me here? Why do these wretched problems keep plaguing me? How do I make them stop?

Then the Lord reminded me of this:

Trials are normal.

Trials are right.

Trials are good.

They are normal and right and good because they are the Refiner's fire. If we wish to become gold, but never want to brave the fiery furnace, we will never be anything more than a bit of unusable ore.

So today, in whatever you're going through, remember that the Lord is using it for good in your life, and you will come out on top, because He has promised it. You are being refined...rejoice that you have been judged worthy to be!

Laurie

Wise Men and Internet Humor

This will be a shorter post, since I'm still lazing around in my pajamas and have to leave for class in an hour and a half. (I like the later start time...and I'll be home for lunch! Just perfect.)

This morning, the one passage I highlighted in my Bible was Proverbs 13:20:

"He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed."

I love the first part, as I personally long to grow wise, especially in inter-personal situations, the way my mother is. It even sounds like wisdom come by osmosis, which makes things easier. Right?

Well, I'd like to think so, but I've discovered that's it's often a hard choice to hang out with the wiser people. And not just people in the flesh--people/communities online. As young people, foolishness is sooo tempting simply because it's easy. And not just easy, it's also fun and amusing.

For a case in point, look at Tumblr, Pinterest, or YouTube. Internet humor is addictive, at the least, and I have spent many an hour giggling at the insane and inane. But recently, the Lord opened my eyes one evening to what I was really laughing at, and I realized it was nothing short of stupid. And I was spending so much time on this, listening to these "invisible people" online, instead of even doing something I truly enjoy, like reading a good book or doodling in my design journal. In short, I was the companion of fools.

Don't get me wrong, I love humor and think it's one of the greatest gifts God gave us. Clean entertainment that includes a good laugh is an awesome way to unwind and relax. But when I realized how much brain-space I was devoting to this empty, poor-quality humor, avoiding anything serious that might require me to actually *gasp* think about something, I saw that this was a problem.

So I went on an internet break to help break myself of that, and also flush out the general slime I felt covered in. It's been a smashing success, and now, when I spend a few hours poking about online researching something or catching up on social media, my brain doesn't quite feel like my own when I'm done. Instead, I'm trying to stay with "wise men", listening to good spiritual teaching, reading the Bible more (I'm getting addicted!), reading good books, and making/doing artsy stuff.

So that's my little encouragement for the day. While writing this post, it's started to snow outside (!!!) and I need to puzzle out an accordingly wintry outfit for school. What was your verse for today? Do share!

Newness in 2015

As you can see, I’ve spent some time updating my blog look, and am pretty happy with it. There may be some more tweaks in the future, but for now I’ll leave it be.

So what’s new in my life?

- I’m working/interning at the local museum and loving it. Although we’re small, we're at the heart of the community, culturally and geographically. There’s always something happening, and I’m surrounded by the nicest people day after day. It was an opportunity truly crafted by God and dropped in my lap with the greatest nonchalance, and as there’s no real end in sight, you’ll likely be hearing quite a bit about it!

- Graphic design at college! I have definitely found my place. Graphic design is such a beautiful blend of science and art…not too squishy-feely, not too cut and dried. Just right. And my professor rocks.

- Less internet. I went on an internet break at Thanksgiving, and loved it so much for two weeks that I decided to simply continue! My rules have relaxed somewhat, but I try to keep internet at a minimum, checking FB once a week and email once (or twice) daily. Pinterest happens randomly, and YouTube not much at all. Now it’s more or less habit, and my fear of being bored is nowhere in sight—I have so much to do and think about, and more time to concentrate on the people in my life. (I want to dedicate a post to this experiment and my findings!)

- Newness with the Lord. 2014 was hard and good, stretching me inside and out. It seems like the Lord is bringing things to the surface in me to deal with, mostly old childhood fears that (however silly) managed to get a root in me and stayed. Though each pulling-out is a painful process, it feels so good to let go of these weights. Sometimes you don’t realize how heavy something is until you put it down.

So what are my goals for 2015? Well, I’ve tried to keep it realistic and true to where I am. Here’s some of them:

  1. More blogging. Let’s just face it: I’m a pathetic blogger. My blogging life resembles that of a flaky lover: I disappear, come back for a visit, vow eternal devotion, and depart again, not to be heard from for another six months. Yup. It’s bad. But this year, with less “floofy” internet and more time for serious recreation (an oxymoron, to be sure), blogging will (hopefully) happen more. I hope I’m not just swearing eternal devotion again.
  2. More Bible. In the latest process of rooting out fear, I was talking/praying with my mom and she brought to my attention the fact that I have not been spending enough time in the Word. She didn’t say it in so many words, but in my new, busier, post-high school life, I somehow managed to abandon my habit of a morning quiet time. For one thing, I felt like I never read enough (here, have a nice helping of legalistic works), so I just avoided it. I’ve let go of that now, and am happily embarked on the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Program. It feels sooo good to be really reading and studying each day.
  3. More exercise. Yes, cliché, I know, but so true! I’ve never been “sporty”, and duck if a ball is thrown at me. So that left me with workouts, cause you have to move sometime. But I was horribly unmotivated, so I didn’t. Move, that is. After feeling general yuckiness for some time, I’ve decided to break the mold, and started running last week! Also, I researched how to breathe when you run, as my aching throat has always given out long before my legs. I tried the tips I found, and it made a huge difference. Running is now possible, interspersed with normal workouts for other muscle groups. I already feel better!
  4. More reading. I rediscovered reading during my formal internet break, and devoured The Three Musketeers and Ivanhoe (book reviews forthcoming). I haven’t picked up a new one yet, since I’m busy enough with more Bible reading and the new semester starting tomorrow. But it’s progress.
  5. More homemaking. With work and school, I’m home a lot less, which is sort of a roadblock to my Proverbs-31-ly aspirations. My problem is that I can clean anything…I just can’t cook to feed myself or anyone else. I’ve always avoided it b/c it’s the first learning curve that’s so tough…I’d like to get further over that hump this year, or my future family will live on scrambled eggs and grilled cheese. :P

So, my list was pretty short this year, but sort of all-encompassing…we’ll see how I do. Maybe I’ll even update you on my progress!

And now it’s picture time. Step right up, ladies and germs, to the Abbreviated Pictorial Summary of Laurie’s Generally Camera-less Life, Because She Burned Out On Photography, Except For The Times She Took These Pictures And Then Spent Too Much Time Editing Them…oh, forget it. Just look at the pictures.

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Looking at these again, I realize that they make for a very bad Pictorial Summary of my life, as they are mostly leaves and flowers. You probably think I’m a garden fairy, if plants are a summary of my life. Oh well. I tried.

Living the life as a garden fairy in 2015,

Laurie