Thursday, September 30, 2010

For your Entertainment: Learning Experiences and such

I'm going to combine a few different days and points that I had partially drafted, and show how they affected me, what I learned, and things that are good to remember anytime, anywhere. Namely, that God is in control and won't give you more than you can bear, helping you walk and survive at the same time; and that life requires self-sacrifice, balancing acts, and perseverance.
I also apologize for errors or jumpiness. I'm a bit tired, and I wrote this while being tired. So read with a mind willing to forgive a few errors =P

Now. You remember that 6 hour writing class I mentioned 2 weeks ago? Well, below is what I started writing that evening, but I was too exhausted to finish it...and then other events happened in my life that I felt took precedent. So, for you entertainment, Saturday, the 18th of September:


I don't quite know how to describe today.
It was amazing.
Now, granted, it started off with me taking a "nap" of two hours between "night time" and "day time". I awoke at 6:00 this morning, and was completely exhausted. My head hurt. My back hurt. My right shoulder REALLY hurt.
My mum and I had agreed that if I felt bad in the morning, that I wouldn't go to the 6 hour writing class today. Well, I really wanted to go, but I felt so awful that I could barely make it to the door of my room. I wrote a message on it that said I hadn't really slept, I felt terrible, and I was sorry, but I couldn't go to the class. And that's exactly what my mum expected to see when she got up this morning. Still. I was stubborn. I decided to see what I felt like after I took a shower. A COLD shower. Well, that woke me up, definitely.  But I didn't feel any better at all. So i went in my room and dosed up on all the B 12 vitamins (they help your body release energy and are catalysts for the cell's batteries, per-say) I had at my disposal (you can't overdose on B vitamins. Your body just flushes the excess out of your system. It's awesome. Anyway). I used my aromatherapy stress relief body mist of lemongrass and cardamom (which I love, by the way). I choked down copious amounts of pain killers...but had to put off my narcotic. Because if I was going to be able to go, I would have to drive. And if I was going to have to drive, that meant I was going to have to be off the narcs. Joy.
I still wasn't feeling any better by 7:00. The pain was actually so bad that I started to cry. Sadly, that's happening a lot more often these days. I have a new, higher pain threshold, yes. But I can't explain to you, in a way that you can truly and fully comprehend, how much pain that actually is. So cry I did. But I hadn't given up yet. I wanted to see Molly. I wanted to see Abi. I wanted to see McKenna. I wanted to give Chesley the hug I promised her for saying she was happy I was trying to come to the class! I wanted to see Courtney, because I owed her a nice big hug that I promised in a letter I wrote her this week. I wanted SO badly to go. And I guess Molly knew that, because she said she prayed I would have the ability to come. Molly, Thank you! *hug*
But wanting and being ABLE to do something are two completely different things. I opened up my 1942 devotional Abundant Living and looked through the contents. There were two parts that stuck out to me, so I flipped to pages 274 and 275. They were "I Will Not Let Anything Master Me", and "Abundant Living "In Spite Of"".  I read these passages with fervor, and realized that this book in my hands was the second best book I've ever laid my hands on except the Bible. It is absolutely amazing. And do you know what it did for me? It gave me hope. Hope that I could go. Hope that, even if I couldn't make it to the writing seminar, that I would be alright. I typed up a few of my favorite phrases. If you know my history with illness and my proclivity for needing people, and help, and God, but without actually saying I need it, then they will mean MUCH more to you :P

"The will-to-live is the urge in everything. Everything lifts up strong hands after perfection. The urge for completion is perhaps the most insistent of all urges. Religion is rooted in this life urge--religion is the life urge turned qualitative. We want to live, not merely fully, but better."

"That phrase, "I am not going to let anything master me," is one of the greatest phrases declaring a life purpose that has ever been uttered. The man who was completely mastered by the will of God said that he would not be mastered by anything. The opposite of that holds good: If you are not mastered by God you will be mastered by things, by yourself, by other persons, by circumstances, by the world, or by sorrows and disappointments.
Take the last two things that master us: the world, and sorrows and disappointments. Some are mastered by the world. It is usually a very slow and silent process. We scarcely know what is happening, but we are slowly mastered by a materialistic outlook. The story goes that a robin was offered a worm for a feather. The bird thought this a good bargain--it would save a lot of hunting for worms and he would not miss a feather. But one dreadful day the robin awoke to the fact that his feathers were gone and he could not fly. He had sold his power to fly for worms. He was earth-bound. The counterpart of that is happening all around us--the powers of soul, the ability to soar,  are bartered for physical things. Soon the man is a dead soul surrounded by many things"

Wow.  I....*sigh* I often find myself sitting in my room, wallowing in self pity and giving away parts of myself to the world's outlook, giving away my power of spiritual flight for earth-bound depression and feeling like I'm in the gutter. Because, really, I am. By the world's standards, I have little. But when I look at things from GOD'S perspective, I have so very much. Downhere wrote a song entitled "Little is much", where they say "Little is much when God's in it". I have my gift of music, which enables me to encourage others with their studies and practices and glorifying God with their talents. I have my gift of writing, where I can write for people (the blog), I can write TO people (my letters) , I can write about people (my journal), and I can help others write (my tutoring).
I love research. I can make bleak situations happier. I can make anyone laugh and break down emotional or prideful barriers in others to find and appreciate and love the real person underneath it all. I can be a friend when no one else will. And I can show love. Love to anyone. Love to everyone.
And I thank God for all of these things.

With that, I realized that I DID have the will to live. The will to live better, and more fully. And that I needed Him in order to do that. So I prayed. I spent about 15 minutes thanking God for his provision, and then asking for the strength to do what I felt I needed to do...go to this class.
A small voice in my head whispered "You now have the strength. It's up to you how you will use it today."
I nodded, still struggling with the decision to go, or stay, which would probably be the better option, considering my health.
But No.
I was going.
And now, I felt like I had the energy and will to bring that desire into completion.
So I left the house, map and business folder in hand, purse on shoulder, and a resolute face.
I was half and hour late. Partly because I left 5 minutes later than I wanted to, and partly because my directions led me to the middle of nowhere, and NOT to the church where this class was being held. Drat. But with some help from Dad, I made it. I completed the SAT practice essay in 10 minutes (having missed the first 15 minutes of the allotted 25 minute write time frame),  included everything Mr. Pudewa wanted writing wise, and then found out through the course of the class that I did everything he was teaching....naturally. =) You know how awesome that felt? It was pretty cool. Anyway. It was what he said at the end that caught my attention. He emphasized how we need to be on guard for secular reasoning, where they imply that "everything deserves respect" (MANY things do not!), that man is inherently good, etc... etc...
He also made it clear that we are facing the stage of "tyranny" that every culture goes through in it's economics, freedoms, and governance. So those of us who are taught to think, to reason, and to stand up for what is right and fair and just, will need to lead the people out of that stage and back into new-found freedom, if the country doesn't rip itself apart before then. I am part of that generation that is to lead. My friends are part of that generation. Everyone serves a part in the preservation and regaining of freedoms that are being slowly but surely taken away by a government. A government that sees itself as all knowing, and not needing to hear the public's voice and opinion. In Canada, the government fears the people. In the USA, the people fear the government.

Now, this kind of talk was not what I was expecting when I left the house this morning. But I heard what Mr. Pudewa had to say. I listened to the words, and believed them. I had been convicted! Even some of my friends who didn't like writing or had trouble writing, said that they now wished to write and stand up for their beliefs so as to positively impact our world for the common good, the people's rights, and the freedom of religion that we Christians hold so dear.

Maybe that was the reason I was meant to go. I didn't learn anything about how to write better, although Mr. Pudewa gave me his personal email to swap tutoring techniques and to talk with me. I didn't gain any new insights as to how to teach my students, as I was already well on my way in that respect. But what I was reminded  of was the great impact each person could have on their world. What an impact I can have on my world, my country, my state, my city, my neighborhood, and my immediate friends and family. We must stand up for our rights, or we will lose them. The old 1937 song "Status Quo" from the musical "Pins and Needles", was sung by Barbra Streisand near the beginning of her career, in the second national run of the play in 1962. The chorus states that,
"When you got to go, you got to go
You can't stand still on freedom's track
If you don't go forward, you go back
You can't giddyup by saying Whoa
And sitting on your status quo"

Do you ever back down because you think you are too young to voice your opinion? Do you ever choose to shut your mouth instead of stand up for what is right and noble and pure and just? Do you choose the easy road, the "middle ground", because it's "safer", instead of meeting the challengers head on and doing what is right?
Do you?
I know I have.
And Mr. Pudewa made sure that I knew my place in the coming years - I was to help lead this country in the way of morality, justice, law, religion, freedoms, and the people's rights over the government's laws. We revolted against an oppressive government once. Maybe it's time to do so again. Who knows?
All I DO know is that I can't sit still while this world changes around me. Otherwise, I will be overcome and swept along with whatever flotsam comes my way, instead of leading the charge to defend what is rightfully ours - Freedom.

Will you rise to the occasion? Or fall behind in the ranks of the cowardly. Because there are only two ways to go...forwards, or backwards. You choose which you will support.
I choose to rise up. I choose to move forward. I choose Freedom.


Interesting, huh? I went to a writing class, and didn't learn anything about writing itself. Instead, I learned about freedom, government, economically sound cycles of a nation's governing body, and my place in the coming governmental and economic shift. I have to say, that day was a productive day. And I am so very glad I went.
I also talked with my friend Molly Crocker for the second time in my life...face to face, that is. It was the first time we had really "talked" though. And you know what? We are now the best of friends. We talked on the phone for 4 days in a row that week, I saw her that Friday evening, and I just saw her again Tuesday night. Methinks this friendship was meant to be. And the best thing? We both started our friendship on the best foundation one can have. The Bible, Christ, brotherly love, and a willingness to sacrifice for one another. I have a feeling we'll be friends for many years to come, mainly because of those very reasons.

And I was able to see Kenna, Courtney, Abi, and Chesley as well1 I hung out with them at lunch, I hugged them, and I sat with them for the last half of the class. I was blessed by their very presence and loving attention.
In the end, the class was worth far more than the $50 my mum paid for me to attend. And the best part? I was inspired for Christ and Country, and solidified lasting friendships. Can you really ever do more than that? Not much, at least.

Saturday was one day that I will never forget, and that I am eternally grateful for. But God hasn't stopped teaching me things since then. It's been two weeks since that class, for heaven's sake! =P

Some other major things I have been learning are how Love doesn't always go the way one would like. You may not talk with a friend or loved one as much as promised, or expected. You may start to question the relationship. At least, I have found myself doing that on a few different occasion over the years. But in the end, it's not the distance, or the length of time between when you became friends, and when you can talk as friends again. It's about how much of a friend YOU can be in the "in between" time. I've fallen a bit slack, I have to admit. But I am working on it! Relationships are worth the work! Trust me on that.

I have also seen how God will bless a friendship, or any relationship for that matter, when you place Him above all things, and then when you place the other person above and before yourself. If you do that, then you can become trusted and steadfast friends far sooner than most people take to find out if they even want to be friends. Case in point? Molly, McKenna, and Ellie. My friends Abi and Courtney are also relationships I very much want to develop, and seem to be doing so at a fast pace.
The point? Relationships take work. And in order to be deeper, lasting friendships that can overcome hurdles and bitterness and strife etc..., you need Christ. He is the solid cornerstone, and will help you climb back up the hill if you slip and stumble. I've learned that the hard way. But most importantly, I have learned.

I have learned also, that there is only so much one can do. I have overstretched myself in the personal area, since school is on hold for me due to health issues. Too many commitments and promises and good intentions. I am now having to work on just completing the ones already on my plate before making too many other promises and goals for myself. My problem is having too many nice things I want to do for people, and not enough energy or time to put into it. Because, although I'm homeschooled, and classes are pretty much on hold right now, there is a reason for that. My health (or lack thereof).
I barely have the energy to go to all the doctor's appointments etc... that are on my plate right now. I guess I just need to learn how to juggle my needs and commitments to find balance.
Anyone else have trouble with life's balancing act? *long sigh* Yeah. I thought so.
It's kind of a common theme in mankind's time on earth. Yeesh.


All this to say that God provides. He allowed me to go to the Pudewa class and for me to be open and soft-hearted enough to listen and learn from the teacher's words; He taught me lasting lessons on friendship and relationships; He taught me how to stand up for what I believe, and the importance it plays in the grand scheme of things. He is teaching me to balance my life and to set priorities. Most importantly, He is teaching me to rely completely on Him, no matter what.

Because I am fading fast, health wise. My doctors and my parents don't know how much longer I can keep going without being hospitalized. My doctors are giving up, one by one, shipping me off to the next doctor in the hope that they can find out what's wrong with me and actually FIX me. My pain is increasing, and my energy is decreasing. I have so many plans and great, big ideas filling my head, but no way for me to see them to completion.
God provides. He won't give me more than I can handle. He is with me every step of the way. And He has brought Glory to himself through His provision for me. I can only trust that he will continue to be my ever-loving, ever-present, ever-strengthening God of the Universe, who cares for me far more than I can ever comprehend.
Do you have Him on your side? If not, think about asking Him to take you into His arms. Tough times are coming...tough times are here...and there are guaranteed tough time ahead. But God, well, He is light and strength and hope when this world fails at anything but giving us more woes and sorrows.
Ask Him to walk by your side, and He will.

He Is.
He Lives.
He Loves.

And He Is Mine.

Be Well!


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