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Why I Hate the Word Busy

We all say it… but are you really?

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We all say it. And I have been saying it a lot recently. “My life is just so busy.” It’s been my excuse for a while now. It’s why I am not active on this blog. It is my excuse for taking all day Netflix binges. It is what I say when someone asks to do something for the evening. I use this excuse all the time. And when I’m tired I blame being busy. But I really am not.

Hear me out. I am not saying that I just lay around all day either. But sometimes I think I convince myself that I am busy. But when I really step back and take a look at my schedule, I realize that I really am not that busy. I just waste a lot of my time.

I watch Netflix instead of doing homework. I watch Dancing with the Stars instead of doing homework. I go to longer lunches than necessary when I could be doing homework. I have learned that “busy” is just a way to make me feel good about being a procrastinator.

Busy: actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime

Procrastinate: to defer action or to delay

Yup! I’m a procrastinator. It’s not really a news flash to me honestly though. I’ve been a procrastinator since I was young. In fourth grade, I completed a project about presidents on the way to school on the bus the day it was due. I am a pro at this! I also have gotten really good at making it “okay” to procrastinate.

The fact is, it’s not okay.

2 Corinthians 6:1  And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

I like this verse because it tells me that we need to be working with God. He has gracefully given us so much and we shouldn’t waste anything that he gives us.

So like I said, I don’t just sit around, but I’m not extremely busy either. There are several hours in the day (more than several really) that I am not productive. I tell myself I need the time to myself but in reality I have begun to realize that I might be taking too much time to myself.

This became evident to me this week when I realized that I hadn’t blogged in who knows how long and when I was sitting on the futon in the dorm and realized that I hadn’t moved for at least two hours. Friends, this isn’t healthy.

So here is my idea for the future non procrastinator: You do need time. But probably not as much as you are saying that you need. Here’s a thought. And today it is working great. Take Saturday to be yours. Yesterday (Friday) I went to a coffee shop and got everything done that needed to be done for Monday. And then I said to myself that tomorrow (Saturday) I’m taking the day off from school. Not from being productive at all. Just from school. Because school stresses me out. I am not in love with it. But I do know it is important and that I need to take it seriously. But I also need a break from it.

So what am I doing with my Saturday? I’m taking somewhat of a Sabbath essentially. I slept in until I woke up. Today that was around nine. I got up and got ready as if it was a normal day. I cleaned up and made myself look presentable. After that I spent an hour and half or so reading and then went to the school dining hall to grab lunch. I took my hammock with me and relaxed outside for a little bit and spent some much needed time with God. After that, I packed up my laptop and headed to a coffee shop.

This day has been relaxing but at the same time I feel that it has been productive. I read books that challenge me spiritually. I’m working on the blog—something that has needed my attention for awhile. Today has been awesome! And I look forward to spending more Saturdays like this.

So I challenge you to remove the word busy from your life because odds are, you do have more time than you are taking advantage of.

Proclaim His Praises!

~Sally

College: Act II

Just a few of my thoughts before I begin my second year of college!

So I really haven’t been consistent with this whole blog thing. Summer just got way too crazy and I never got on a good routine schedule. But now that college is here, I am foreseeing a major improvement in my blog presence.

I am super excited about the things that God has laid out for me this year already! First, I moved in last weekend to work a Christian retreat for incoming Freshman. It was so amazing to see so many students putting their faith first in this new adventure of their lives. Next, I was able to (and currently still am) work Welcome Week! UIndy welcomed its largest freshman class ever of just over 1,200 students! I have loved watching their excitement as they enter this new season of their lives.

I also accepted a job at Brain Balance Achievement Centers near my school. This is an amazing opportunity for me as I prepare for a career in occupational therapy.

I am living “suite style” this year with three other girls and so far I am loving it! I highly recommend this kind of dorm style especially if you are not quite ready to “adult” yet. It feels like a step between a dorm and an apartment. Super fun!

As I am beginning this new year I have some goals for myself. I encourage you to take time to write out some goals also, and then come back and look at them throughout the school year.

{1} Pull up that GPA!

Let me just say, I’m a pretty good student, but Chemistry and Cell Biology kicked me last year! I lightened my course load a little bit this year to work on getting down better study habits and to help my GPA. I know GPA isn’t what defines me but it does mean a lot while I am in school

{2} Be more involved

I was pretty good at keeping to myself last year, and honestly I was pretty content with that. But if I want to truly make a difference (see goal 3) then I am going to HAVE to get more involved. I don’t want to overwhelm myself but I also don’t want to just sit in my room and watch Netflix on Friday nights.

{3} Make a difference~ Live for the benefit of others

I listened to a sermon the other day that talked specifically about living for the benefit of others. The pastor didn’t talk about being involved but that’s what I began to pull from it to apply to my life. I’m a rather introverted person. I never really thought that until I got to college. I always thought I was the extrovert but I soon realized that I really didn’t get my energy off other people and people actually just drained me. Because of this, my first year of college was mostly spent in my dorm room and at CRU Bible study and the occasional Thursday night chapel. I would go to games but I didn’t really sit with anyone. I was really good at keeping to myself and it didn’t make me uncomfortable.

This year, I’m working really hard to change that. I started by being a student leader for the activities I mentioned earlier. I also have taken on a more leadership role in CRU. I have decided to find a freshman that I can mentor just like a senior did for me last year (Olivia changed my life).

If I am not living for the benefit of others, then I am living for myself and that does not glorify God. If I am not glorifying God, then why am I here? What does “you are the chosen generation” mean if I am not doing anything that God has called me to do?

My challenge to you is not just to “be” but to “be present.” Get involved. If it means that you can change someone’s life, step out of your comfort zone a little bit. Stepping out of comfort forces you to completely rely on God. It’s hard, but so worth it.

Have an awesome school year!

Proclaim His praises!

~Sally

 

P.S. Just some pictures for life update purposes!

Music Review: Anthem Lights- Hymns

Check out some of my thoughts on Anthem Light’s most recent album.

Yes. I just put an entire album for the music review. Why? Because I can’t pick just one. First off, if you don’t know who the band Anthem Lights is then please take a moment right now and Youtube them! They are literally amazing! They have this amazing mix of harmonies, sometimes acapella, greatness that is the sweetest, most beautiful thing to listen to.

Because I love them so much I am always watching to see when new music comes out and when I got the notification they had released an album that was hymns only I was beyond excited! Even if you aren’t an avid hymn lover, I encourage you to take time to listen to the album.

I, myself, have not always been a hymn lover. I went through a phase for about two years where I thought hymns were over sung, out dated, and boring. But something clicked one day in my brain when I realized that hymns have so much meaning and truth to them. I began listening to different artists put their own twist on old hymns. I began to fall in love with them. Anthem Lights helped me to fall in love with hymns even more.

My favorite song on this album is the Southern Gospel Medley. Maybe it is because I was raised on Southern Gospel, but this song is impossible to sing and not be happy. It gets you excited. It also seems to take me home whenever I’m away. It gives me a sense of comfort.

I encourage you to take a look at this album. And let me know in the comments what you think!

Proclaim His Praises!

~Sally

Photo Credit: Album Cover

Life…

Just a quick update on my life since I haven’t posted for awhile!

So it has been about a month since I last posted. This was not the way I planned it to be but life happens. It seems as though every night when I finally settle down I just want to go to sleep, and lately, that is what has been happening. Being that I hadn’t posted in awhile, I thought I would just give some update on my own life and let you in on why I haven’t been around.

First, I took a “ministry vacation” with my parents to an international conference put on my the ministry my mom works full time with. I say vacation as I chuckle because it was far from a vacation! We were busy all day long but I was able to meet some amazing people from all over the world and hear about their ministry in their own countries. Plus, the conference was in North Carolina so I was able to get my own official Tarheels gear to proudly support my favorite basketball team in all of the NCAA (on clearance I might add!).

Upon returning to Indiana, I jumped into an internship at a therapy clinic nearby. This clinic works with kids only and I have had a blast! I am learning so much about different things to do as an occupational therapist and what all is involved in a rural setting. This is going to be great as it prepares me for my future and what God is calling me to do.

I also have the opportunity to work with the Jr. High youth at my church. This is something that is very different for me. I keep saying that those kids are “something all on their own.” They are fun loving, crazy kiddos on fire for the Lord and I am loving hanging out with them. We are even planning an overnight camping trip for them where I hope to form some good mentoring relationships with some of the girls!

In the last two weeks I have been working hard on preparing for a camp that my mom runs for kids ages eight to twelve. It has been a lot of time spent at a computer readjusting schedules and planning activities and sorting through everything from the past year. With camp just around the corner I continue to spend large amounts of my time preparing.

I hope to have some sermon summaries up soon from the past month of sermons (that may take me a little while) and some music reviews (because as I am sure you are aware, there are some pretty good new ones out!).

As I am working on this I can’t help but stop and think about how closely this relates to a relationship with God. It is so easy in the summertime (or whenever routines are changed) to slack on my relationship with God. Suddenly reading my Bible and praying don’t maintain priority. I can get so busy doing all of these good things (I mean Jr. High, missions conference, Christian camp, right?) and neglect the most important thing. It’s easy to do but it isn’t right. I have to constantly remind myself that I need to make the conscious effort to spend time with God.

This summer has already been crazy and I am only a month in but I am excited to see what else God has for me as I continue!

Proclaim His praises!

~Sally

Below are some pictures from the summer so far!

The End of Freshman Year…

A reflection of my first year of college.

I woke up around six this morning. I had a terrible time sleeping last night and that carried over to this morning. I was just awake. I was wide awake. And I really don’t know why other than the fact that I am super excited to go home! I have one more final and then I am actually done with my first year of college.

I know I kind of touched on this in my letter to myself but I will say it again: this year actually went by fast. It is so weird that you hear people all the time saying it goes by so fast and you never think it will (and honestly this was the longest week of my life!) but then when you look back, the year really does go by fast.

This year taught me a lot about myself. The biggest thing was a new definition of introvert. I have NEVER thought I was an introvert. I have taught, acted, and been very social since I was young. I, like most people, was shy around adults, but I loved being around people. The thing is, I would always get a break from those people, usually at the end of the school day. In college I learned that there are some people who are literally with a lot of people ALL the time and they hate alone time! I am not one of those people. I still enjoy performing and teaching, but I have no interest in staying up with friends until midnight doing absolutely nothing. I like my alone time; and my sleep!

I also learned more about the fact that I crave deep, meaningful friendships. I want someone to invest in me. I’ve known this for awhile too but coming to college I really struggled to make friends and I think it was just because I would talk to someone and I would know that they didn’t have the “chosen generation” mindset that I do and while I could still be kind to them and grab lunch every now and again, I wouldn’t be able to go deeper with them; it would just be a surface level friendship. Thankfully through CRU I have found friends that also crave meaningful friendships and relationships. They were there many nights when I was crying about things going on at home and they listened and completely understood through a breakup that most girls my age would have said I was crazy for breaking up with him for. Because of my experience in craving and struggling to have meaningful friendships, my goal next year is to “find a freshman” (let God bring me that freshman) and to really invest in them and be there for them.

So now onto less deep things: I learned that I have way too much stuff! I learned this while packing this week. It’s ridiculous but don’t worry, I can see out of my back windshield so all is well.

I have learned that meal plans are stupid (or at least ours is). We have a set amount of “swipes” that we pay for up front for our meals but here’s the kicker: those swipes don’t roll over! So what you don’t use goes to waste. As of now I have 13 so I’m pretty proud of myself but I’m only here for one more day and we can only use six a day so some are still going to be wasted.

I could never go on to say what all this year has taught me but I think my favorite thing is the reason I started this blog. I learned that people are really good at putting on a front. They can go to chapel on Thursday night and they may even go to church on Sunday morning but it is obvious they go out Friday and Saturday night. This is incredibly frustrating to me because I feel like it not only ruins their testimony but it doesn’t help me look good either (not that I am here to please man but we are to be representatives of Christ here on the earth). People associate people with people. Meaning, if I am going to chapel with the people who are going out and sleeping around, people automatically assume that I am doing the same thing and I am not! That’s why I am striving to be (and believe me not in my own power) the strange and peculiar person that God has called me to be. It’s hard. I am created with the same desires as every single girl in my dorm. I want to have friends. I want to be liked. But unfortunately for a lot of college students that means compromising your morals and I refuse to do so. Again, I am NOT doing this in my own power; I can’t. It takes daily surrender to God and to his Word for me to be able to do this. I pray that you, college student, professional, or whoever you are, never compromise what God has called you to.

Stay that strange, peculiar, chosen, and set apart person; creating the generation.

Proclaim His praises!

~Sally

P.S. Just a few pictures from Freshman Year. I’m really bad about remembering to take pictures so there aren’t a lot but here you go!

Summing Up the Sermon: The Greatest Sermon Ever {Parts 4-6}

Finally… the last three parts of The Greatest Sermon Ever!

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, the end of this semester has been absolutely insane! I have one more final tomorrow at noon and then my Freshman year will be over! Which is crazy and exciting and scary all at the same time…

But, I have time to catch up on some blogging and I figured that since I have three weeks worth of sermons (not including Easter) to sum up I would put them all into one post. To hear the sermons click here.

{Part 4}

“If I’m going to be a follower of God, I need to know what it looks like.”

This was the “opening statement” of the sermon. This should be true of us right? If we are going to do this thing where we follow Christ, shouldn’t we want to know how to do it right? And who better to get this information from than Christ himself?

In Matthew 6, Jesus assumes that we will be doing these three things: being charitable, praying, and fasting. We know this because he uses the words, “when you” and not, “if you.” This could be a whole different sermon but nonetheless it is included in this one. If we are serious about our relationship with Christ, then these three things begin to flow out of us- because of our relationship with him.

Jesus assumes that we will be doing these things so he addresses our weakness: that we can take good things and taint them and even begin to make them bad. There is something in the human heart that makes us take something good and taint it. Why? Because without Christ, our hearts are wicked. We begin to do things with the wrong motive and when we do that, those things are worthless.

Jesus says, “don’t be like the hypocrites.” They were giving, praying, and fasting, but they were doing those things with the wrong motives. They were people pleasers.

The things that we are supposed to be doing, we are to be doing unto God. When we begin to do that which is to be done unto God for man, we are being people pleasers and begging for recognition. If you want praises from men, that’s your reward; don’t expect anything from God. Bible. Not me.

I want God’s recognition; not man’s. If all I’m getting is man’s, and never anything from God, then I don’t want to be recognized by man at all. “Whatever you do, do (with passion) unto God and not unto man.” Sometimes, we forget who we serve. 

What is hypocrisy? A hypocrite is one who loves to be seen. One who tells others to observe laws, but doesn’t obey them themselves. You try hard to please people, but then those people see who you truly are (eventually) and they run off.

Here’s why hypocrisy needs to be addressed: Are people finding what they need in the church? Are they finding power and freedom? Or just a bunch of fakes?

God requires honesty! And an honest heart. A double minded man will not receive anything from God.

Hypocrisy is NOT failing, sinning, or a Christian who sins. Failing is not hypocrisy; it is reality.  A hypocrite is someone who puts on an act and has an anterior motive. They are playing a game. They want be seen in one way when they are completely different. But God is not a fool and he refuses to be played a fool. We have no place for games and hypocrisy. It is time to walk humbly and honest before God and to “get real” with God.

{Part 5}

Are you ready for it? The most widely discussed topic in the world (of nonbelievers). JUDGING!

Matthew 7 and Luke 6:37 were used for this message. I felt like this was very well taught and almost gave me, as a “judgemental” Christian, some relief.

Point number 1: Jesus did NOT forbid Christians to judge because we have to make judgements daily because Christian love is not blind.

Philippians 1:9-10, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,”

How are we supposed to discern what is pure and blameless if we don’t make judgements?

I encourage you to read Matthew 7:1-12 and Luke 6:37-38 as they are parallel passages but all of it relates to judging.

In judgement: What are you giving? What’s coming out of your life on a daily basis? Mercy? Grace? Or are you being cold and indifferent?

Next in Jesus’ sermon is the famous “plank and speck passage” that for sake of visualization we are going to change to a 2 by 4 plank and a piece of sawdust. Jesus says, “Why do you look at the piece of sawdust in their eye when there is a 2 by 4 in yours?” You need to get the 2 by 4 out of your eye so that you can help guide those around you. That means, judgement has to start with you!

Point number 2: You get what you give. Judging always begins with ourselves. If you are not examining yourself and judging yourself then stay out of other people’s business.

Judgement needs to begin at the house of God. Are we doing things the way God would have us to do it?

Why does judgement have to begin with us?

1)  When we begin to judge ourselves, we prepare ourselves for the final judgement

2) Whether we like it or not, we are being judged today

3) The purpose of judging ourselves is to prepare us to help others- to help them and to restore them.

If we don’t judge ourselves, we will become blind to our own issues. 

{Part 6} The final part

There were a lot of great things in this one so I’m going to try my best to pull out what I found most important. PLEASE listen to the sermon to get the full details! From Matthew 7.

In the final part of Jesus’ sermon he speaks about three things:

1)  Two paths

2) Two types of trees

3) Two types of foundations.

There are two types of people; those who sincerely desire to  follow Christ and those who don’t. 

Two Paths

Ultimately, there is only one way that leads to Heaven, and subsequently there is a way that leads to Hell. You need to evaluate where your road is leading. The road leading to Heaven is not majority populated, rather, it is the minority. But this is not new! God’s people have always been the remnant and the small minority. You, as a Christian, are going to be different. The Christian life REQUIRES this! The narrow road is not heavily populated because it requires you to do some examination. God has called you off the broad path and onto the narrow. What path are you on? I encourage you to really evaluate this by asking, “Has my faith cost me anything?”

Two Trees

Good fruit comes from good trees; bad fruit comes from bad trees. It doesn’t get much simpler than that! This part goes on to talk about the false prophets who will come as “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Not everyone who confesses Jesus as Lord is a true follower. There are people who seem to have a form of godliness but deny it’s power (2 Timothy 3). But if you receive Christ’s sacrifice you can be free because of the power of the cross. That power comes in kneeling before the cross and surrendering-denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following him.

Two Foundations

If you don’t listen to this sermon for anything else, please listen to hear my pastor “sing.” It is an old bluegrass gospel song that has the lyrics, “I’m working on a building, it’s a Holy Ghost building.” Those building’s foundations are going to be shaken. You are going to face challenges but the Word of God and the truth of Christ will sustain you. Building on the Rock means that you are reading the Word of God and you are acting on it in obedience. 1 Corinthians 3:9 tells us that our foundations are going to be tested and those who hear the Word, respond, and lead others in obedience to the Word, their foundation will stand.

All this information is great for those who are abiding in Christ but the question is: Are you fully following Jesus. If not, please reach out and talk to someone!

If so, then my challenge for you is to reach out to those around you who you know are not. Help them build their foundation on obedience.

Proclaim His praises!

~Sally

Dear Self on Finals Week

Just a quick study break. Some thoughts about my first year of college and where I’ve come.

Disclaimer: I should be studying for finals right now but I need a break. FINALS-MEME-10

 

This is only my second finals week but I declare: this has to be the most I have ever studied in my entire life… Lord, please get me through Tuesday and the Introduction to Cell Biology Exams! I can’t even!

 

So to destress I decided I needed to blog. (Side note: Introduction to Cell Biology is the reason there haven’t been any posts the past couple of weeks. And I have some good information! COMING SOON: The Greatest Sermon Ever: Parts 4 and 5, Goals for the Summer, and some Music Reviews!! Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Without further to do: Dear Self on Finals Week

Dear Self,

You’ve almost made it. In five days you will have completed your first year of college. This year went by so fast. You’ve met so many new people, began to form great friendships, and you have grown up more in a year than I ever believed you could.

As you enter finals week, remain calm. Know that all the effort you have put in this semester will pay off. Know that you are not defined by your grades, but they are important. Don’t find your worth in your GPA; find your worth in Christ and who you are in him. That being said, I’m pretty sure Christ wants you to try hard and to be successful on your finals so that’s going to require some effort on your part.

This year has taught you so much. You have learned that you can do things you never imagined you could do. You have started to learn how to “adult” a little bit; however you aren’t really willing to admit that you are one yet. You have learned that seeing your parents every day is not a necessity, but you have learned to appreciate the 72 hour weekends spent with them. You have learned that, in some ways, yes, college is not like high school, but in others, it is. Just a little bit more of teaching yourself concepts. You have learned more about who God has called you to be. You have learned that God will use the gifts and talents he has given you to do things that may be outside of your comfort zone. You have learned how to talk to people with beliefs different than yours in a way that is respectful and non-confrontational, while still standing your ground.

Self, I am proud of you. That may sound a little egotistic but I really am. I just wanted to let you know that incase you are ever doubting yourself. I want to remind you of your accomplishments incase you are feeling down.

Just something to get you through this next week from your archery coach: “Forget the last arrow; keep your eye on the target; then see the outcome. Persevere through the final 15-meter round. God’s got your back.”

Proclaim His praises,

Sally