Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
What if we really did this? Here is a a little piece of wisdom I read this morning from this really cool guy named James:
Consider it pure joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its PERFECT result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in NOTHING.
BUT if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who GIVES TO ALL generously and with reproach, and it will be given to him.
But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For the man out not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
Blessed is a man who PERSEVERES under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the CROWN OF LIFE which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
What would happened if we remembered this everyday of our lives? If you are anything like me, there are always trials thrown in your face. So...what would it look like to consider these trials as joy? How would we respond?
I have a feeling it would be completely different than our natural response.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Soy from Starbucks- my all time favorite coffee drink.
One of my favorite cereals. In fact, it was my dinner tonight.
The candle that is lit from the moment I walk into my apartment to the moment I walk out.
Just the raw, organic version of the thing I love.
The Apple-Pie Cake from Martha Stewart that I made last night with the help of a friend. It turned out so yummy! And I put in a lot of extra cinnamon.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
One thing God chose not to gift me with was the gift of art. I just suck at it. my older brother and sister, they are great at it. But Jordan- nope, can't draw a decent stick figure if her life depended on it... But IF I could draw something other than an awesome 3D box or a star, which can still turn out terribly, I would draw a picture of me, with a one ton weight labeled "Reality" dropping on my head.
As usual on Sundays, I decided to stay in Fayetville after church to begin doing some homework because I can't work in Siloam at my house and my Cafe on Broadway is not open on Sundays. And yes, I mean "my".
A friend told me to try out this place called Arsagas. I had heard of it but never been. However, after driving by the first one, it was too crowded and I wasn't getting a good vibe. I have to have a good atmosphere vibe in order to be productive.
Anyways, I drive past Arsaga's and continue on thinking there is always Barnes, Starbucks, or Panera. So I drove by Starbacks...packed. Barnes...no outlet to plug in my dead computer. Panera: I wanted a coffee drink, theirs suck.
What do I do now? Well, I proceed to procrastinate, drive around for about a half hour, windows down, listening to music, thinking slowly about what to do about this predicament.
Then I remember, there is another Arsagas by the place I work. Well, "what the heck" I thought. I may as well drive across town once again and go check it out. So I did. And I walk inside and I am not getting the good homework vibe atmosphere. I don't know if is the tiled gray floor, the loud foreign kid who wants everyone in the coffee shop to know he how feels about Trigonometry or some really smart subject I really care to know nothing about, or it could have been the retro-covered seats that made me feel like I was at an 50's old fashioned diner. Those of course made me want to do the hand jive instead of actually study. Well, whatever it was, I was close to walking out because there were no seats at the moment either. But fate stepped in and a guy stood up and left leaving a table perfectly sized for all the homework I could cover it with, an outlet close by, and a complete view of the whole place so I can keep an eye on the strangers around me. "Maybe I should give it a chance", I decided.
So I put my stuff down and got in line for drink.
And oh geeze, the drink menu: intense. But a lot of good options. I, of course, didn't make up my mind until I asked for advice from the barista who was extremely sweet and made up for all negative feelings so far, noticing I was sick and talking to me about school.
Oh yes, I am sick. An atrocious head cold was a part of the ton that has been dropped on my head today making me sound even more like a man than I naturally do when I speak.
So, after I was all mentally satisfied with being here at Arsega's, I got phsyched about my drink, Pumpkin Spice Late (extra cinnamon please!), and began to feel like I was headed uphill from here...
I sit down, get settled, start working, take my first sip of my delicately chosen pumpkin spice latte and yup...
I can't taste a(pardom my french) damn thing.
Really? I mean, REALLY?!? After ALLLLLL of this.
Such is life today.
So there at sat, at this new coffee shop, sipping on a hot tasteless latte, feeling gravity pull even harder on the weight that is pushing down on me.
I spent the next 2 and 1/2 hours reading about midterm elections, watching Full House clips on YouTube, Ranger School videos on YouTube, and attempting to do some homework, only successfully completing one of the many assignments.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Today in Marriage and Family Class we talked about dating. Woo hoo- big deal...the majority of you are wondering why I am paying thousands of dollars for a class that teaches me about dating. But regardless of "why?", I am and I have actually learned some things which are quite beneficial but.... I am not going to share. However,the class did make me think about my past relationships and how I should define dating for me. Or maybe better yet, determine what is the best way of dating. I mean who knew there could be so many types and that people actually try to pick the best? I guess I should try.
Although I am young, I am pretty sure I have done the majority of the ways of "dating" that are out there except courting and arranged marriages and I am not ruling either of those possibilties out.
In no particular order I have done:
the "deep friendship first that evolved into dating"- lasted on and off again for about one year and four months.
the "we meet, we go on a few dates, we start fast and end fast" which lasted for the lengthy period of about one month.
the "we hang out in the same group, are around each other a lot, have commonaltiies, love Jesus, and find each other attractive so let's date" which lasted for a solid year and three months.
the "you like me so I guess I will like you back but not really into it" which lasted surprisingly about three months which can probably be attributed to the fact I only saw him about once or twice a week.
Oh and I can't forget about the multiple times I did the whole "we are best, best friends with mutual attraction for a couple months but never put a title to it" which all ended in similar ways: we don't really talk anymore. So much for those best friends.
Anyways, I think that about covers it. And all of these "dating relationships" have ended in their own special ways. Some we are still friends, others we have not spoken in years. So what does this mean? Well, even after hearing a whole lecture on dating, I have no idea. Which way of dating do I like the best? I have no idea.
I think liked them all and I learned a lot from each one without experiencing any tramatic heartache...yet.
As I am sitting here writing and thinking about the subject, my friend Zach informed me that in Japan where they practice arranged marriages, divorce rate is at 2% unlike the United States where the number is nearing 50%.
So that settles it. When I decide to get serious with my love life I am off to Japan where I will find a Japanese host mom and dad who will set me up with a stranger and provide for me an everlasting marriage. Hello fried rice and kimonos!
Just kidding. But as far as my opinion on dating, I am a full advocate of it and no, I don't advocate one certain kind for anybody. To each his own, eh?
According to John Brown University and a lot of other evangelicals, dating should be intentional. The majority of my friends here at JBU believe that you should not date without the intentions of marriage. But something about that does not settle within me. I think it is naieve and unrealistic. I don't like the idea of having to be so intentional about it- frick, that is why we date in the first place: to figure out if a person is right for you, to figure out if you are right for them, to find things you need to change about yourself, to find the things you need in a mate that will compliment you and sharpen your character. I won't figure this out with spending a lot of time being so intentional with each relationship I enter into because what if it doesn't work out. What if I enter into a relationship expecting marriage and it fails. And then I try it again and...failure. A. it was probably a big portion of my life that the relationship took hold of and B. I can only imagine the heartache and loss I would feel would be much greater than if I went into the relationship thinking "lets just see where God takes us".
So no, I will not kiss dating goodbye Joshua Harris. I will date and I will date for fun. Marriage will not be the end all be all John Brown University (I know I am making a huge generalization here). Sorry if that goes against your standards and your expectations.
For me going into a relationship with the expecation of marriage coming out of it is just a set up for failure and a broken heart. No thank you!! Yeah, this may look like I am inviting more drama into my life or maybe even more heartache but I tend to be capable of steering clear from that. And plus, all the "drama" and "heartache" I have experienced so far, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have learned from it and it has affected each of my following relationships.
So instead I will greet dating with a kiss. Bonjour dating! Let's get to know each other and see where God takes us.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I have a professor this year who is incredibly awesome. Her name is Betsy Nesbit, she is 29, single, educated, and is from the North (an added bonus for in my opinion).
I have had the privilege of hearing her speak about her life twice now and both times she has drawn new thoughts and perspectives which I feel need to be applied to my life.
Betsy says there are details and themes in life. When we hear people's stories we tend to focus on the details and how they can be incorporated into our lives. However, it is more important to instead focus on the themes of life. The details are insignificant simply because they are all out outcomes of the themes of what God is doing in our lives. Her three themes which are very applicable to anyone are: Identity, Calling, and Contentment.
Identity is finding who I am in God. Calling is realizing what God is calling me to be (not do). And Contentment is finding contentment in my identity and calling so that God can use me as He plans right now in the present moment.
Betsy talked bout her natural tendency to live for the future, constantly planning and constantly looking ahead. The first time I heard her speak, I listened and identified with her but it didn't really register how much I related. The second time around, I sat listening and I could tell God was saying: "Seriously Jordan, look at you...how much do you live in the future."
I think I have become so used to living in the future, wondering what's next that I didn't even realize it when Betsy talked about it the first time. I think it has become a part of who I am.
I, like Betsy, am a planner. I have back-up plans for my future plans. I wonder what tomorrow's task are versus focusing on today's. I sit and wonder where I will be living and do when I graduate versus focusing on finishing school well and being here in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I think about traveling in the future, I think about marriage (wonder if marriage is anywhere in my near future- hopefully not), I think about moving, I think about having children, I think about my careers, I think about my future husband’s career, I wonder how financially stable my life will be, I wonder who will still be my friends.......la da da da da....I think you get the picture. Bottom line is I am ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE.
And……..I HAVE GOT TO STOP. I have got focusing on being and becoming versus doing. Betsy said what I do will flow out of who I am becoming. I mean I can still plan some for the future, it would be stupid not too, but I need to learn to loosen my grip on those plans.
One awesome thing she said the really convicted me was: “to always be looking to the past or always looking to the future is another way of me telling God that what He has given me is not good enough. And who would dare look into the face of God and tell Him that?”
So people, me especially, we need to focus on identity, who I am and calling, what God is calling me to be (not do), and then finally, finding contentment in that. Not looking forward or back, but being here. Saying:
God, you have given me what I have and placed me where I am for a reason. Do with me as you plan, not as I have planned. Help me become and not just do. Let what I do be a natural outpouring of my identity and calling in You. You say in Your Word “See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith” (Matthew 6:28b-30). May the lilies remind me forever more of your caring and provision.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.
"Leaves" by Elise N. Brady
Monday, October 4, 2010
I dare you to watch this and try not to be a little happier after you watch it. I don't even care if you hate Disney's Princesses. I really don't like them either, except for Mulan that is. But regardless, just watch it. I swear you will smile. You can't help it. And everyone loves to smile.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I am sitting in Starbucks. I have been pretty productive so far and it has been a good day. However, I got distracted. Surprise, Surprise. And by what did I get distracted? Well, my own thoughts.
I am thinking about how feelings towards one person can change so drastically. One moment you can think your friend or whoever is the best thing in the world and then you can't stand them the next. Or you can think the worst of somebody and before you know it, you are best friends and more alike than you every realized. It is weird to me how my feelings towards people can change so quickly. I can smile, sigh, laugh, or roll my eyes at the mention of a person depending who they are. All different emotions in a person can evolve based on their feelings towards them.
And right now the one emotion you can feel towards people that I really hate is anger. I hate feeling angry towards a person and that is what I am feeling. Being angry is such a waste of time and especially in females in can turn to bitterness and I don't want that. I don't want to be bitter.
I don't want to be angry but I keep seeing things and hearing things that bring me back to this emotion. Maybe it is the wrong emotion. After all, I do suck at emotional things but whatever it really is that makes me feel this way, the outcome of it all usually boils down to anger and frustration.
So I am going to figure out how to separate this feeling from me. I don't want to be angry. People say in order to not be angry, you need to learn to forgive. But how can you forgive when the things that are making you angry are currently occurring and will continue to occur? I can't help the things that make me angry. Well I guess I can but that is just a lot easier said than done.
Fine. I will try.
But all that aside, today has been a great day. We spent a lot of time praying this morning in church and it was so good. And as is usual I making a whole new set of friends for my senior year and I am loving it. I think God has big plans for me this year and I am so excited and happy to see it all play out.
This year will be the hardest but quite possibly the best year, apart from my time in Ireland of course. :)
Now back to the piles of books, research, and writing- wishing I was elsewhere.
Friday, October 1, 2010
1. As I was sitting at Cafe On Broadway this morning, as I have every morning this week, I got sad when I saw a girl eating a pre-packaged muffin versus their amazing homemade oatmeal that I am slightly obsessed with.
2. I want to do good at this magazine article that I have to write but I feel like I am failing. As my teacher says, I am putting a big "L" on my forehead.
3. I need to go to the airport.
4. It is taking at least two cups of coffee to actually make me feel awake in the morning. But as of right now, two is not cutting it for me.
5. I am having a hard time right now juggling life but God is good and I am happy. Really, I am.
6. I wish I could say TGIF but for some reason I am not feeling it- i got a jammed packed weekend.
7. I want my best friend.