March 5, 2009

Howdy Stranger!!!

I will be the first to admit that I have not written on this blog for quite a while. The second is the proof of December being the last entry. I haven't made time... and I haven't been motivated.
Today was my wake up call. I went to a study abroad information session early this morning, skipped my only day to sleep in (until 8:30 or 9) to learn the information I have been researching on my own since the summer of 2008 (actually even earlier). I made time to find out that I was too late!... Yet I have not made time to share the glories God has revealed to me, the blessings He has given me. What has gotten into me? I need to refocus.
Modern cameras now have an auto-focus or manual-focus option with the simple flick of a switch. This wake up call is meant to be an immediate switch to manual focus on God. Long gone are the days of simple auto-focusing on daily, uneventful occurrences. Life shouldn't be that easy. We are in a battle! Battles are tough, long, and strenuous... but strengthening--like exercise. 
To be honest I've made more time for exercising my body rather than exercising my mind and spirit. No more--no exercising until I put God first. I've put too much emphasis on how my body feels... on relieving stress through exercising... not GOD! 
God put us on this world to glorify Him... to rely on Him... to want to know Him! He should be before my practice of manually focusing my large-format camera. He should be before my readings of how much we have defiled the land He created. 
He is first and foremost... So, Howdy Stranger...and goodbye to not knowing my Lord. 

December 8, 2008

Since October 27th, it has snowed 5 more times this year already! During the largest snow so far I was sick and could not go outside, not even to take a few pictures. I hope to have more snow for more pictures, but finals are coming up and we will be leaving Boone for a month. Unfortunately Charlotte does not get much snow. 
The snow was so beautiful and every time I looked outside only to see the large snowflakes filling the air,  the warm feeling of Christmas joy envelops my body and I feel like a kid again. Feeling kid-like is only helped with the friends I have and their crazy fun in the snow.

October 29, 2008

Snow in October?

On October 27th, I saw the first snow flurries of the was about 7:50pm, I was on my way to a Geology exam review session. On October 28th, I woke up for my 8:00am class and noticed it was a little bit brighter in my room than usual. I looked outside and I found snow right outside my window..and there was about 2 inches, too! I woke my roommate up with the shout of "SNOW!"...I probably shouldn't have done was 6:50am and she almost had a heart attack. :-) But it was amazing that there was snow in October! I took my shower quickly...layered clothes on thick...scarfed down an Otis Spunkmeyer Muffin and ran out the door with camera in hand...I had to get across campus to my Public Speaking class.....and take some snow pictures. Lets just was slippery and extremely cold with 20 mph winds. It ended up snowing all day on Tuesday.

But it was warmer today, so now all the snow is melted... :-( 
I look forward to more SNOW this winter.

October 21, 2008

Guess what!?!

Oh guess what!? This is so awesome!

A couple of days after I wrote the previous blog, I went to check my email and found a message saying that my financial aid had changed and it included where to find the changes...I went to see and found that I had received a random grant (meaning I don't have to pay it back) from the government that exceeded what I needed for school so they refunded it to me.

I was shocked beyond belief! A RANDOM GRANT was rewarded to me...and the catch is that they posted the money the same exact day that I wrote the blog before this one. The day I had posted on the blessing God gave me...God gave me enough money to pay off fully one of my credit cards which was almost all of the cost of the camera, just shy of $200 less than the full cost. 

IT WAS AMAZING! I checked my email the same day that the check was placed into my ASU mailbox. You bet I celebrated again for the blessing God gave me. I treated my closest friends to Papa Johns pizza and jumped up and down for awhile and no one could wipe the smile on my face for hours or fade the joy written on my heart.

Thank you, Lord for blessing me and for taking care of me when I least expect it.

Smile today! God will surely bless you with a happy heart.

October 8, 2008

Such a blessing...

Until October 4, 2008 I have never owned a camera other than disposables. You can only imagine then, since I am a photographer, that acquiring a camera has been one of the most patience-seeking experiences in my life. It has involved getting rid of jealous tendencies, smiling when I thought I couldn't, and waiting--lots of waiting. 

As a child I learned I could not always get what I wanted and when I wanted it. Some things take time and others take money. If you don't have the money, you have to be patient and work for it. I think children these days don't learn that lesson enough, they grew up in a microwave or dsl society where people would rather sacrifice quality for speed. I am thankful that I learned to be patient early on.

These past years have been a test to see if I truly understood patience.

At the beginning of this school year, I decided I would try to get a credit card to start building my credit and to buy the amazing camera I had been waiting for. This camera costs $ is the brand new Canon Digital Rebel Xsi with 12.2 mp. I went to my bank and applied for a credit card. I recieved it in the mail and found out it had a $700 limit. That wouldn't cover the camera. So I decided to also get a Discover card. I applied...they emailed me a week later saying I had one more step to finalize my application. I called and they told me I needed to verify my address. I then called my mom to request her to fax a bill with my name on it to Discover. She faxed my medical bill (from the time I went to the hospital when I had pneumonia) on that same day. They sent a fax to my mom saying they received her fax. A week later, I hadn't heard anything from Discover so I called them to see what was holding it up. Discover then told me that a medical bill could not verify my address. The woman at Discover went ahead and approved my application anyway. I was to receive my card within a week. Another week passed by and there had been nothing in the mail from them. I called again. Apparently they had the wrong city and zip code on my account, which made no sense because I had applied online and I always check three times before I send something off. They also asked to verify my address 2 weeks earlier and they had a fax with my address on it. Also when the woman approved my application we went over my address again. They still had it wrong. They told me I had to wait another week.

I was so frustrated with Discover that I almost told them to forget about my card. I didn't want it anymore. But I needed it if I wanted to get my camera. I didn't have money to buy my camera right away, so I guess getting a credit card or two was the easy, less patient way out. Three weeks to a month had passed since I originally applied for my card and every day was harder than the one before. I planned how and when I would get my camera in my head...I was so excited. A week after each step I would call my mom many times a day to see if the mail had arrived...and every week I was disappointed.

September 24th arrived, it had been a full month and I was still eagerly waiting for my credit card. Two days more and I would be at the Cleveland County Fair. I wanted my camera so badly to take amazing pictures at the fair. If my mom didn't receive the card in the mail that night, I wouldn't be able to get my camera before the fair. I was looking forward to taking those pictures for an entire year. Memories would be lost forever never to be captured if I didn't have that camera. My mom texted me...No card was in the mail that night. 

I was so furious. I called Discover again, trying to hold my frustration in. The woman on the other line told me they had the wrong address...STILL. After four times of verifying and calls and waiting...they STILL had it wrong. I asked the woman if I could have my card number so that I could use it online to buy my camera and she told me three times "We can not give numbers over the phone." No matter how many times I told her they messed my information up for over a month, I could not know my numbers, I could not know how much money would be on the card. I had to wait.....

I cried my eyes out that night. I had been so let angry and so sad at the same time that I broke down...cried for hours upon hours. My mom told me there had to be a reason that I had to wait..that I had to stay patient. I didn't do any homework that night, I wouldn't have been able to see the paper if it were two inches from my face, my eyes were swollen shut with agony and tears. It rained that weekend, and the fair was closed...

I waited again. I tried not to get excited or expect anything. I waited another 9 days. Finally, my mom received my credit card in the mail. It was a Thursday and I was worried I wouldn't get the mail until Monday and then I wouldn't have time to drive an hour to Hickory to get my camera. Saturday rolled around....and my card was sitting in my mailbox. I think I jumped and danced around my dorm room for at least an hour. Then...I found out that my camera was on sale...there was a 2 day sale at Best Buy and my camera was a part of it!! $749 instead of $799!!!  

God knew there would be sale...that it would rain at the fair and I would have been upset anyway...that I needed to wait.

This camera is a blessing from God alone. My card came a month or more later on my time but that was God's time. All I can say is that I learned to trust God...He knows what He is doing...perhaps if you wait...He will bless you.

September 4, 2008

Smokers and Evolution Week

This week at sweet ol' Appalachian State I've been having a hard time with people on campus. The best way to describe my problem is the fact that I am allergic to cigarette smoke and people here love to smoke their evil sticks of death. Appalachian State decide to make a 50 feet rule: You cannot smoke within 50 feet of any building. Well...thats not happening at all. People smoke right next to the doors of buildings...and they, quite frankly, don't care if you inhale their smoke. I try not to breathe it in, but because I am human I have to inhale at some point, and that point seems to happen whenever the person in front of me randomly decides to pull out their cigarette and light it up. I don't mean to complain by any means, but last year I had at least two sinus infections and pneumonia from trying to avoid smokers. I really don't want to miss another week of school due to someone else's decision to light up where they shouldn't. 

It really depresses me to know that this world gives rights to people that want to kill themselves slowly publicly and innocent people around them...and don't give the right to the non-smokers to have fresh air and the ability to live healthy smoke-free lives. Instead this world is corrupted with death. Its so sad. It makes me want to join God in his perfect heaven even more where we don't have to worry about breathing.

Also, this week my classes (Geology and World Civilization) were centered around learning about evolution. I don't want to hear it anymore. I was required to read about evolution in two of my textbooks, and I didn't. I don't feel I should have to hear about it. That should not be required reading or learning. We had to watch a video in Geology on Tuesday about "the creation of the Earth" and fill out a worksheet that went along with it. I was so tempted to just write down "God" for every answer and turn it in.....but I realized that I had to have patience with this world...and...that I would have failed the assignment. 

Please pray for my patience and for ears to hear...and for my mouth to be shut instead of yelling out my anger with the ignorant world.

God should be glorified properly. So I decided to take pictures of GOD's creation. This world is so intricate...evolution is impossible. We humans are so complex...this world is complex let alone how many species of flowers there are. To God be the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

August 6, 2008

They may see your good...

These past few days, I've been reading through 1 Peter. I found so much inspiration for living this life as a Christian in these chapters, but one scripture that struck me most is 1 Peter 2:12. It reads:

"Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us."

It made me think of the example God calls us to be to the darkness in the world. I remember my days in the darkness, and now that I am stepping in the light I can't understand 
why anyone would want to stay in the dark. Do they stay there because it is comfortable? Because they fear disciplining their selfish nature as if it is too strong to go against? Oh if only they knew that God has the power to conquer the evil and bitterness in their hearts. They don't have to face it alone. God never intended His people to succumb to Satan's deals. If only people would call on the Lord and ask for help. Why do they not want help? God wouldn't back-stab them; He wouldn't help them out of their hole only to push them back in with laughter. God is loving, nurturing, and trustworthy as every father on earth should be to their children. He is the ultimate Father. Stop pushing His strength from your side, He keeps you balanced.
1 Peter 2: 8-10 reads:

"They stumble because they disobey the message -- which is also what they were destined for. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."

I am proud to be a part of God's people. No one can take that away from me. Insults may be hurled at me but I will not retaliate as Jesus did not retaliate on the cross. He followed through with His plan. So I shall follow through and follow his example.