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God is good… ALL THE TIME

If I’m being honest, God has been pushed to the back burner way too many times in my life. School and everything to do with it envelopes me into a whole new world that has almost nothing to do with God. A secular world is pretty hard to live in most of the time.

This year I decided to do cheer. Something I have never been passionate about whatsoever, but I did it just to “do it.” What was I thinking? Don’t answer that please. This season has sucked the life out of me and quite frankly been horrible. Going to sometimes six games a week for both boys and girls games took every bit of energy out of me. On top of cheer, my grades are very important to me. Way too important, actually. Friends who AREN’T  christian ultimately do nothing for you. My focus has been shifted not on Jesus, but on this world and that is something I am not proud of one bit. It has lead to a great deal of loneliness and isolation on my part. Comparing myself to things of this world has easily been one of the worst things I could do to myself.

——————I held onto this blog post and now, two months later, I’m a different me than I was describing above. ————

I’m loving life. I have a positive empowered outlook on life lately. Guess what though?  I shouldn’t be. If it weren’t for relying heavily on God, and resting in Him, I’d be a puddle of emotions at the moment. I’m learning currently not to waiver when strong winds come my way and am okay with change. My main group of friends just up and left me recently. Completely doesn’t talk to me, and they don’t really look at me. I AM OKAY. I am not a weird person, I deserve good friends. They found drugs, alcohol, partying, sexually immoral choices to be a constant default in their lives. I should feel alone.

To be honest, at times throughout my day, I DO feel alone. I keep reminding myself my God, my loyal, faithful friend has never left me. He is constant. Never changing. I made a conscious choice before my freshmen year to abstain from social decisions that would be displeasing to the Lord, my family as well as myself. Having that boundary has helped greatly with any “peer pressure.” In all honesty, I haven’t had much of that however. I don’t put myself in circumstances or friend groups to make me want to do those things. Except, for this situation. My so called “friends” didn’t ever pressure me because they knew I would just keep saying “no” because I was confident in my “no.” My answers never wavered.

I can finish this post by saying my CHOICE to not let into what the world has to offer me through my “friends” has helped me find more time for my priorities and activities that make me feel complete and happy. My encouragement to you: KEEP GOING, AND KEEP PRAYING. Friends I talked about want to see you fail. They know what they are doing is not okay, but they want to drag more and more people along to make what they are doing feel not as bad. Imagine if I would have said “yes.” Not only would I be giving Christians a bad image for themselves, but I would also be showing non-christians the thought that the God I was talking about wasn’t able to sustain me the way I tried saying He did. You can be content in the Lord, and overflow with joy. No need for any substance to make you feel the joy He brings when you seek it. img_1627

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Memories that make an impact

This past weekend I was blessed to have the opportunity to go to a leadership conference in Canada that was much needed. I’ve been able to go to many other camps besides this one so I honestly wasn’t expecting much. I quickly learned a lot more than expected over the course of three days. I’ve been overwhelmed lately. Stress is still very existent in my life. I needed time away from everything. Being away from my phone was AMAZING. I felt free. I believe I heard one theme throughout  the whole weekend that stuck out to me. Be intentional with every action. What’s your purpose behind service?

Here are some of the comments that were made that I’ll never forget:

  • people need you
  • life is not fair
  • you’re here not for things but memories.
  • you don’t have to be different to be noticed, you just have to be you.
  • HAVE PASSION
  • don’t be afraid to tell your story
  • every story is worth sharing
  • you don’t need recognition
  • people won’t remember what you said, but how you made them feel

My heart has been softened. I don’t really know what else to say. Those phrases have connected with me in very important ways.

I have grown up in a very sheltered life which is such a blessing to me. I do believe I have missed out on a bit of diversity however from this, but this camp broadened my views. I met special people from Peru, Bolivia, Italy, France, Denmark and Canada. I liked hearing about how their life is like back home. I can’t wait to get involved in Rotaract when I’m older, but for now, I am thinking more than ever to go on a mission trip. I don’t know how, but I do believe I’m being called to do it in my life so if He wants me to do it, there will be a path very soon. I’m motivated to serve more than ever.

To the kid who didn’t cheat his way through high school…

Keep doing what you’re doing. I know the frustration you must be feeling. To work so hard, studying every night, while 90 percent of you classmates are just flying by whilst having the answers on their calculator. Using that great old website called “Mathaway”, “accidentally” taking the test home, or just getting the answers off the internet. It’s annoying to hear them bragging about their 98 percent on the unit test that they didn’t even deserve while you got an 84, solely using your brain and hard work. This may the most annoying thing to you, but I tell you don’t fall in with the crowd.

Be THAT KID who is known for their character. The people around you are only cheating themselves in the long run. It’s good to be honest. At the end of it all, you can look back at what you’ve accomplished and be proud. YOU and you alone achieved those grades, aced that test and got that 4.0 on your own. Integrity gets you far in life. Something I learned just this year is that you may not know it in the moment, but I guarantee that you always have someone watching you. When people know you for being an honest person, they are attracted to that. They have respect for you because you have respect for yourself.

It’s WAY too easy to cheat through school nowadays, but you can choose not to cheat yourself. Guess what, not cheating now is preparing you for the hard challenges ahead. You know what is truly the best feeling? Working ten times as hard for something, and getting an even better grade than that lazy kid over there who found every answer on his arm. Now THAT is something to be proud of. So go do just that. You’ll never regret hard work and the feeling you get from it no matter what aspect of life it pertains to.

Where I THINK I’ll be in ten years

In ten years I will be 26 years old. I have wanted to go to a four year university ever since I was a very little girl. Nobody in my immediate family has ever gone to one, and my goal is to be the first.I want to pursue a career in nursing and have always loved and adored infants, so a postpartum nurse would be my DREAM. My dream school is Seattle Pacific University. It’s a private christian school in Washington, thats honestly the best. school. ever. It costs a fortune and I don’t think its realistic, but WHO KNOWS what will happen.  I’d like to be married by then, but I keep reminding myself I should be at peace with whatever God has in store for me. By 26 years old, having a stable job would be ideal because of all of the student loans I’ll have. By 26, I would love to have traveled out of the country on a mission trip with my church as well. All of my friends who have gotten the chance to go on one have told the best stories and I really think my perspective on life itself would change for the better.

I’d love to possibly be married by 26, or close to marrying by then. I know many of my friends think thats really early, but I believe by that age, I’ll be ready. I honestly don’t think I’ll have any kids by 26 yet, but I’ll most likely be getting close to wanting them. I hope my older brother is married by 31, because I have always wanted to be an aunt. I can’t wait to see both my brother’s be fathers one day, and I can’t wait to be a mother. Seeing both my parents raise us the way they did, makes me very hopeful for my future family. I don’t really know what is up ahead in my life; I’m leaving that to God. I pray that I have peace through all of this knowing He is in control.

 

Saying ‘NO’ is a Good Thing?

Yeah it is. For someone who has a hard time telling people “no” in fear of disappointing them and trying to make everyone like them, saying “no” can set them free. I find myself stressed and overwhelmed ALL THE TIME. Trying to be everyone’s friend, and making sure you don’t disappoint everyone you care about gets exhausting. This is not a “poor me” idea when I say this. For many years, I have allowed myself to be doormat to other peoples’ needs instead of my own. Another thing I struggle with is not wanting to fall short of my friends and familys expectations of me. I know a lot of people who go through the same mental blocks as these two problems that go hand in hand. I tend to run away from confrontation even if I know what the right thing to do is because I don’t want to cause trouble between people.

Here comes trouble. I believe you can only be your best self when you take the time to truly better yourself. When you’re always too tired to do whats good for you, you can’t be good to others. It’s MY fault that I’m always overwhelmed. I choose to say “yes” to people’s needs when they ask for help. I always wish I could have just a BIT of the attitude some of the kids in my class have towards life. The “I don’t care” or “screw everything, I’m too tired” kinda outlook on life. HA, not really, but hopefully you get the picture. Getting overworked about everything, and adopting other people’s problems as your own aren’t beneficial in the long run. Not even short term in my experience. My challenge for myself…SAY NO. A two letter word can leave you feeling 100 times less worked up. I hope my mom reads this, because I got this “people pleaser” nickname from her. We’re in this together mom<3

The fear of saying ‘no’ stems from past rejections. The people who mean the most in my life understand me. The few times I have expressed how I can’t do something to meet a deadline, they respect my feelings. The connecting piece is the idea that people who I’m not as close with may or may not understand. That’s my fear. To be a better me, I’m realizing I can’t let that be my downfall. As a person who claims to not be one to let other people’s opinions bother me, this isn’t helping that image. In 2 Timothy 1-7, it states “For the Spirit God gave us not the spirit of fear, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” I must keep reminding myself that this chained down feeling I have felt for the longest time, is not from Him. I’m not allowing Him to fulfill His promise to me. My first ‘no’ will be to this evil voice in my head I keep allowing to scare me.img_8485I really have no upper body strength so this picture doesn’t really help my case<3

 

New Year New Me?

As the new year approaches I feel the need to make a list of all of the desires of my heart. Everything I want this year, the person I want to become, and all of the far-out goals I so eagerly and nonchalantly say here and there. If I’m being honest with you, by the end of the year, sometimes earlier, I realize I accomplished almost none of what I had on the list. Just for laughs and being able to look back on this next year…heres that list.

  • win state for all four track events (track is my favorite sport)
  • run for class president/ASB president ( I love my school and the people in it)
  • find something in my youth group I can be apart of on a consistent basis. (I want to be useful).
  • get a job (=money)
  • find a new place to volunteer (retirement home)
  • pick your college
  • get a car (that tin can ain’t reliable)
  • get as many scholarships as you can (we all know thats the only way you’re going to be able to go)
  • get a 4.0
  • take SAT

Looking at this, I am nothing short of overwhelmed.

Don’t get me wrong, these things are very important to me, they REALLY are. I have made the decision not to make these things my new years resolutions however. I want to grow up this year. Not that I don’t think I am maturing already, but I want to mature in ALL aspects of my life. These are the things I’ll be praying for these next 365 days.

God hasn’t been a priority lately. I’ve mostly been focused on benefiting myself. How would doing this thing help me in this moment? I want God to be what people identify me with. Day by day, I want my friendship with Him to be ever-growing. I know this ain’t an easy task ahead, it requires SELF CONTROL. Making time for Him starts today. I think that if I conquer this task, everything else I want to achieve this upcoming year will fall into place. I am choosing not to worry or stress over the material, worldly things that I desire. God is in control.

I want a friend. A REAL friend. Someone who knows how to be one, and is loyal. I’ve never had a best friend. Even though I get along with everyone, at the end of the day, I feel alone. My ideal friend is someone who is ten times as weird as I am, a Jesus FREAK, a selfless, kind, loving empathetic being. The term loyal is very important to me. I had an unequally yoked friend for about a year and a half, closest thing I had to a best friend, but not really. One day she just decided she was done with me and never talked to me again. She left me within a week. I want a friend who cares just as much as I do. I am a loyal person who once I find someone I really love and care for, I show them I care. I want someone here on this earth to do things with. No not a boyfriend just yet. I need a venting buddy. Someone I can cry to and feel important around. Someone to get coffee with and read the Bible together. This is a lot to ask, but I ultimately just need someone as perfectly imperfect and undeserving as me.

I want confidence in my own abilities at this stage of my life. With this, I need just as much humility to go along with it. At times, I am scared to be successful. I don’t want attention, or people assuming I’m too good for things. I’M NOT I PROMISE. Like one of my coaches once told me, “don’t be afraid to be the best. Not saying I am the best, but often times I feel like its not okay to be outwardly confident in front of people. Something I’ve learned is you don’t have to be cocky to be confident. I’ve just got the wrong message from kids my age who don’t know what the word humility means. Through my actions, maybe I could politely show them.

Lastly, I want peace in my life. Being able to let go of past mistakes or memories can be very hard for Emma Lee. I need God’s help to help me focus on my future and what He’s doing RIGHT NOW in my life. I easily get stressed or anxious about every.little.thing. If I said something right, making sure EVERYONE  around me likes me. (Ain’t gonna happen, just give up), responsibilities (lots of them) and too many more. From my experience, when I’m closest to God, I feel most comforted. Thus, leading me back to my first point about how I want God to be my first priority. He gives peace, and thats what we’re all searching for, aren’t we?

This year is going to be the best one yet. I am making that decision here today, and am going in with the openest mind I’ve ever had. Why? God will be right there going through things with me.img_3441

A Bit about ME…and a story to go along

12/30/16—

I’m writing this for myself. I want to look back when I’m old and gray and see what I’ve been able to achieve and get through with God right by my side. I’m 16 years old at the moment, and have had a very “boring” life up until sixth grade. I guess I say boring because my childhood was practically perfect. I have two loving, god-seeking, HARDWORKING parents who brought my two brothers and I up in a very respectable way. A very fun childhood with many memories to go along with it. My brothers and I did every sport under the sun and excelled at a good amount of them. WoW. I don’t mean to sound cocky, we just love sports and thats kind of our thing we enjoy doing in our spare time. I do have to add…never have been good at volleyball, and I’m always picked last HAHAHA. Anyways, up until middle school, life was PERFECT. So simple.

Middle school hit me like a truck. Things were much more complicated. Girls in my grade were fickle. I lost my “friends” and had one of the loneliest times of my life from sixth to seventh grade. The reason I had such a hard time was because I was different than most of my “friends”. I was growing up, my faith in God was growing, and I was slowly but surely becoming a tomboy. These girls were also boy crazy which if you knew me I AM MOST CERTAINLY NOT, I want everyone to be my friend and I try to be kind to everyone around me. This clique was everything I wasn’t. I’d play basketball every day at recess and soccer would be the other half of the time. The clique of about 12 girls were the definition of mean girls. They’d make fun of what I wore, call me names that I didn’t deserve to be called, purposely call me out in front of the class to embarrass me and even get the other kids in the class to not like me as well. I never had a partner in class, I always sat alone, and I felt like I wasn’t important in school. You would have never guessed if you saw me because I pretended like I didn’t care.  I really did though.

Sports have always been important to me. It was the one thing that I looked forward to during this time of my life. I’ll always remember how every time I would beat the group of girls in any sport, they would shun me for however long they desired. By the middle of the year, the meanest girl out of the bunch was decently good in the mile (the term good is used lightly given that we were in sixth grade). Me on the other hand didn’t know how to long distance. My competitive spirit showed through one day because I disliked her enough that I not only beat her, but beat the entire grade and cut my mile time down by two minutes. Saying I didn’t like mean girls is an understatement. At times, I would have to stay home because I became physically ill because of the anxiety I was under. I never wanted to go to school, and the day I stayed at the Childrens Hospital because of my chronic stomach problems, my parents knew they needed to stop this problem somehow. For a passive, 12 year old girl at the time, I didn’t like the idea of my parents meeting with the principal at all. This ultimately only made things worse.

As I mentioned earlier, my relationship in Jesus Christ was becoming a priority in my daily life. It only grew stronger because He was the only comfort I had other than my parents. Through leaning on Him throughout this tough memory, I gained a confidence in myself I had never had before. In the weirdest way, I had an empathetic heart towards these girls and gained a love for people just like me who feel left out and “less than.” God became my number one and I can honestly say that is the reason I am where I’m at in my life right now. The verse that helped me through my struggling middle school years was Proverbs 3:5-6-“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” By the end of six grade, I ran for vice president of ASB. Not a big deal now, but in that moment, it was the biggest event of my life. Oh, I didn’t mention I was running against the meanest, most errogant girl I will ever meet in my entire life. She will never know just how much she negatively affected my life, and I really hope she never finds out.  I’m sitting here crying on my laptop. Its been five years but I remember her words and actions like they were just yesterday. I won. I didn’t think I would, but I did. Looking back, in my 12 year old self, I saw a girl who just wanted people to like her and for once, she felt like they did.

When people ask me if I miss anyone from middle school, I never have a good answer. I don’t miss anyone. People around me didn’t know how to be a friend and nobody in my opinion knew how to be kind. Where I’m at today, is a much better place BECAUSE of the basic middle school bullying everyone goes through at some point in their lives. I’d consider myself to be a very confident person, and someone who is always making sure people feel important. I believe God allows us to go through things that will strengthen us in our faith. God is good, and I can’t help but share something so special to me. Who would have thought that middle school mean girls would have helped me become a better person. So I want to give a shout out to the group of girls who made my life miserable. Thank you, because without your harsh words and isolating actions put on me, I wouldn’t be such a quirky, independent, smiling, laughter-filled Emma. XOXO