Thursday, March 24, 2016
It is indeed beautiful in Dallas. The city is one of the prettiest and cleanest cities I have ever seen. The sky seems bigger here and there's always something to do as long as you know where to look. We've ventured out of Dallas before and also seen a lot of beautiful things. We've seen waterfalls and hills in Oklahoma, lakes filled with fish, and a sky that seemed to stretch out forever over the flat terrain. It has certainly been an adjustment moving from the southeast filled with humidity and mountains to near the desert where it is dry and flat. But it always pays to look for beauty especially in the midst of change.
I also love seeing the beauty in the people I encounter. Since everyone I see on a day-to-day basis are still relatively new faces, I am having the opportunity to get to know them and learn who they are. I am so enjoying seeing the hand of God working in the lives of my fellow believers and seeing His image in every person I meet and get to know.
With the onset of spring, everything seems to have turned green! (My chiweenie doesn't see the beauty in it, however. She just makes sure to taste it all making walking her a chore.) In between sneezes I am enjoying seeing all the new flowers on trees and how lush it has become. There are many parks near where we live, but we have found one that has become completely green besides the path we walk on. The trees make it feel like you've escaped into some oasis. It is beautiful and refreshing.
God has been teaching me to rely on Him through all this change and through the challenges we have faced the past few months. I have learned that though this is hard to learn, it can be beautiful too because the process of learning to rely on God makes me more of the person I should be. When I try to rely on my own will, things are ugly, challenging, and not rewarding. Relying on God, however, things are beautiful, still challenging, but very rewarding simply because of the presence of God in the things I am doing. I hope that whatever you are doing or going through, you will rely on Him and let Him show you the beauty He has in store.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
First and foremost, God is good. He truly is the provider, counselor, and father.
Second, change is hard. I don't mean it's uncomfortable and no fun. It's just really difficult. Moving, starting a new career, getting married, renting our first apartment, taking care of two nervous dogs... it's a lot. Like I said before, that does not mean it's no fun. It's easy to get bogged down by the change and let it be no fun. But it's amazing how beautiful and fun life can be when we choose to pursue God and look for the joy. It's there somewhere. Always. We've just got to be willing to look for it.
This brings me to my third point: marriage. It's wonderful. Challenging and difficult, but, again, that does not mean it's bad. The best things in life take work. And apart from God, my marriage is the best thing in my life. Phill and I have been through a lot in our years of dating and now our first few months of marriage. I am so thankful that God brought him into my life. He is a blessing and a joy to be married to.
Fourth, seminary is fun. I love it. I get to hang out with fellow theology nerds all day! It also has a dangerous side, though. It's so easy to get too focused on the "nerding out" that suddenly the head overtakes the heart and it turns into cold academia. If you are considering going to seminary, pick one that has a defense against that built in to their program. It's ultimately up to you, but chapel and bible studies of some sort are signs that the seminary is fighting against it. I would strongly urge you that if the seminary you are interested in does not at least recognize this as a problem, proceed with great caution if you proceed at all for your own sake. I have also learned the benefit of church away from you seminary friends with regular people who may or may not be able to give you an outlined breakdown and analysis of the book of Philemon or be able to parse Greek words. To reiterate, I love seminary and I am so happy I am here and learning more about my Savior. I just understand the risks. Again, God is good and will help us through as long as we keep our eyes on him.
Fifth, Phill and I will always be grateful for the support of friends and family who have given us what we need to keep going. Whether a card in the mail, a text, or a phone call, it has all been a blessing as we establish our life so far away.
On a lighter sixth note, yes, Texas does believe it is its own country! I have learned that their state bird is the Mockingbird, but that Mockingbird Ln in Highland Park is always crowded. I've also learned that Dallas attracts many types of people from all over the world. Due to its strong economy, it is a hub for individuals and families wanting to start new lives in America. It makes for a rich and diverse population. Texans are also some of the friendliest people. It's been easy interacting with those I encounter day to day. Oh, and there's tacos everywhere. It's amazing.
Seventh and finally, God is good. He is always there. He was with us before our marriage, on the wedding day, and every day since and forward. I have learned to trust God through rocky circumstances. I have never felt a stronger dependence on God and I am thankful for that. He is good. He provides. He loves and cares for his children. Sometimes we don't understand why he does things or allows things to happen, but what child always understands their parents actions? He always comes through which has only served to deepen our trust and faith in Him.
Monday, March 2, 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
Monday, November 10, 2014
The past few weeks I have been working on a hashtag project on Facebook which I am calling #leahsthankful37 where I post something I am thankful for each weekday. This is going to become one of those posts. Often I choose my topic based on something I am struggling or busy with. Writing the post reminds me why I am doing said thing and that though it may feel burdensome or unpleasant now, it is actually a blessing.
Today is one of those types of posts.
A little over four months ago I lost my Aunt Natalie. Today would have been her birthday. Today it would be easy to be filled with sadness, but I refuse. Do I miss her? Of course. Nearly every day. But today I choose to remember the good.
We all make mistakes. We are a fallen people. At the end of your life, would you rather be remembered for the bad you did or the good? The good, of course.
So, this is how I choose to remember Natalie. She was a fun aunt. Visits with her were full of silly cat videos, stand up comedy, and always UNO. That was a must. These times were filled with silliness and laughter. I cherish these memories.
Today I am thankful for all those times and for my aunt. I am also thankful that Phill got to experience her and these times even though it was only once. I thank God that He orchestrated that visit especially.
I love you, Natalie.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
1) This one is for a friend. Happy 5th "transplantiversary" and being cancer free to my friend Erin. Yay!
3) There are brilliant little children in this world helping to make it a better place. For example, this little girl created a backpack to make it easier on children with cancer (such as herself) to go to school.
4) And here's another brilliant kid who created a foldable bedroom to help with disaster relief.
5) The Fields Award (the highest math honor) has been given to a woman for the first time.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
To answer the last question: No. All love is not equal. Let me stop here and say this is not about homosexuality. That said, this was inspired by pro-homosexual marriage art. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, you know what it is and what is being said. Our homosexual brothers and sisters are saying, "We can love just like you do. All love is equal."
Like I said, I am not addressing that first claim. I do not have enough insight even into my best friend's life to know if she loves just like I love, so why would I make a judgement call about someone I do not know and how they love?
This is what I am disagreeing with: "All love is equal." Let me assure you, it is not.
See, I know that my parents love each other. They demonstrate it through many ways including kindness, communication, and commitment. I know many people deeply and romantically love another person. I think that's great. But such a love looks like hate compared to the love of just one other.
This love created you and me. This love gave us a way out and back into relationship when we cheated on him. This love has done this very thing a million times. And then, when his lover committed ultimate betrayal, he died for his lover anyway.
This love isn't full of mushy feelings and kisses and hugs. This love isn't a puppy love full of emotion. This love showed his lover how much he loves with his very life.
So, not all love is equal.
All human love, parental and romantic and friendship alike, pales in comparison to the love of this one.
So remember your true love, Jesus Christ, and know that he will love you more than any human could. He will love you when you turn around and betray him. He will love you enough to ask you to come back again and again and welcome you with open arms every time.