OnlyGrace

Monday, Monday, Monday. January 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 9:28 PM

I promised I’d say why today was so great (and it did continue to be pretty good, for a Monday).
So I got to sleep in (totally didn’t go for a run). I woke up, took my time getting ready, had a good cup of coffee and took one “to go.”
I went to the library to meet up with this girl who needed to borrow my anthology of Chinese lit. book since she hadn’t gotten hers yet. I did some work there before she got there. I found out she had just transferred to school so I got to show her around the Honors area and introduce her to some people. I was glad I could befriend her since she’s new and it’s hard to transfer in the middle of the year. I got a little more work done and then left.

From there I went to the Shriver center (where you set up any work things/internships/volunteer work, etc). I had an 11:00am meeting with someone there. I am taking an Honors 390 class which is essentially just 3 hrs of volunteer work a week. I have a few little things I have to do in addition, but it’s not so bad. I got to set up the place I will do the volunteer work. I’m going to Johnnycake Elementary school 3 hours a week for the semester. Should be really fun. I will do reading and math help for the kids. At work I do tons of elementary homework with the kids, especially math and reading, so it should be no problem. Plus, having been homeschooled it’s good experience to see what “real school” is like for a kid. So, I have to work on getting in touch with the people there to set up a time to have my orientation for the placement.

Then I went to the dining hall and got some early lunch and got some more work done. My friends joined me later. I had a good meal (lemon chicken and salad with OJ).

Then it was off to Chinese lit. That was okay. It was…a lot! She gave us a lot of information and we also had a short quiz. I guess I did alright. It was a good class and I learned a lot so that’s always good.

After that I stayed in the library and got homework done for that class. My friend Steve met me there and we hung out/did homework. I also read some Hebrews, too. I didn’t have much time for that, but I got a little reading in.

I had my first sociology of education class tonight. It’s just one time a week from 4:30-7, so it’s not so bad. It’s a TON of reading and a good bit of writing too. 2 papers 4-5 pages, one 10 page paper and a 15 page final. So it’s a good bit of work. But it’s interesting. We watch a lot of movies in the class too. We watched one today and it was so interesting!

Then I rushed to dinner, had a quick sandwich with friends, then it was off to my room to unpack my books and then go to a meeting from 8-9. Now I gotta finish up this blog then I gotta edit my planner, adding in this education class’s work. Then it’s off to bed (there need to be more hours in a day). All in all, it was good.

Oh, and I’m hoping for a delay tomorrow so I don’t have to wake up early. Oh my…

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Personality!

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 9:10 PM

I took this personality test, just for fun. If you have 5 minutes, try it out and share your thoughts.
http://www.41q.com

I got ESTJ (extroverted-sensing-thinking-judging)

No surprise there. One summary of my personality type:

ESTJ
Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive, quickly move to implement decisions. Organize projects and people to get things done, focus on getting results in the most efficient way possible. Take care of routine details. Have a clear set of logical standards, systematically follow them and want others to also. Forceful in implementing their plans.

Basically, me. haha.

More info? Check here: THis is the story of my life, hah. http://typelogic.com/estj.html

 

Monday Comes Around

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 2:26 PM

Oh, Monday. I must say that for it being Monday, it’s been incredible. I’ll blog more later 🙂

 

School: Week One January 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 9:51 PM

I hope to do weekly posts about school stuff. No promises, of course.

Wednesday: School was supposed to start Wednesday. I was to have one class 1-215 and then go right to work. Well, because of the snow, we have a delay and opened at 10am. We wound up closing at 4pm (good call). The school I work at was closed so I didn’t have work that day. I had my 1pm class. It was Chinese Writing (studying the writing of the Chinese and their cultures…not like how to write in Chinese…). It’s a 200 level Honors class. I like all things China, love the professor and it fit in my schedule. It’s a TOUGH class! This week we were assigned 59 pages in the History of China book, about 30 in the Anthology of Chinese Lit., the introduction to the Analects, and a 3-4 page paper. Oh, and we have a quiz on the readings on Monday! SO, it’s TONS of reading! It’s hard for me to want to work really hard in classes that are not part of my core curricula. Like, I am interested in this and I know some of it will help me in general and I’m sure I’ll improve my writing skills, but still. It’s just a lot of work for something that I don’t feel like is absolutely necessary. But, I have learned a lot from the readings this week. We have four papers but only have to do 3 of them (that does not include the paper we wrote this weekend. That makes 5). We must rewrite one of our papers for a whole new grade, but we can choose to rewrite two if we want. We have scheduled reading quizzes. They’re just a few questions, but quizzes nonetheless. We also have a final, but she says we get to make it up. We have a midterm that is open book/note. It’s a hard course for me also because I am terrible at interpreting writing that is better categorized as art, such as poetry. We analyzed 2 poems or writings on Wednesday. It was so hard for me. I like writers to say things straight forward. I do not want to guess what they were trying to say. I’m afraid I’ll think it’s something different from what they meant, and that’s just awful in my eyes. So it’s hard on many levels. Oh, and I am scared that Dr. Shields will make us do a writing in the styles we’re reading. That absolutely terrifies me. Dr. Shields is awesome though and she knows SO much about the topic, speaks Chinese, has her doctorate in something Chinese, has been there a couple times, and has written 2 books (well one is being written) about China stuff. So it’s good and bad. Good because she’s knowledgeable, but bad because she is so passionate that she can rant a little bit. But that’s okay. Anyway, that’s that.
It was also really nice to see my friends again now that the semester is back up. I’ve had time to be away from them and I missed them a lot. I am also refreshed this semester. I am ready for new things, more work, etc. So yeah, that’s that.

 

Thursday: Again, it was snowy. I went to one of my four classes because the others were canceled. It was a sociology class (my minor). I am taking 3 sociology classes and I took one previously. That means that after this semester I have one class to complete until I finish my minor!!! I am taking issues of health care. I LOVE this class. It’s a 300 level class. The teacher is adjunct and he only teaches this one class. He works at the school though so he is really accessible during the day. He works doing some sort of health care policy stuff, so he is really knowledgeable in the topic. There are like 80+ people in the class. Many people were absent due to the snow. We barely had enough seats to fit those who were in class, so we may need to switch rooms because there are just so many people and not enough seats. But so the teacher said since it’s a 300 level class it’s all juniors and seniors (but not me…). He said because of that, he does not take attendance or really care if you come to class. It’s your choice and as juniors and seniors there is no need for that kind of structure for us to succeed. So, we can come to class if we want or choose not to attend. He also does not have a required text. Everything is online. That’s AWESOME. I printed the stuff offline and it’s way less than 100 pages! For the whole semester! So that’s amazing. We have 4 quizzes, worth 120 points each. There are 12 questions worth 10 pts. They are basic and just to make sure we’re following the general stuff of the class. So you only need to get 10 right to get 100. Also, get this…He drops your lowest quiz grade! So you essentially have 360 points to work with and only need 300 to get 100% and you only need to get 270 to get 90% on the quizzes (90-100% is an A). So, that’s awesome. I could lose 90 points and get an A, if I did my math correctly (which is highly improbable). So, that’s great. There is also a group project but it’s pretty simple 7-10 minutes, 3-5 people, 6-7 ppt slides. Totally doable. Plus, the final is based off of everyone’s presentations, which will also be posted online so we can review them. I don’t remember him saying we have a midterm. Oh, and the class is 1-215 but he said he does his best to get us out by 2 and rarely keeps us longer. He has no curve or extra credit, but that’s okay. So, it looks like a good class. PLUS, I am really interested in this topic simply because I don’t know very much about it. I feel like as an adult and human and social-worker-in-progress I need to learn the basics of health care, insurance, etc. I am excited 🙂 Oh, and this is the biggest class I have every been in so that is a little intimidating. I like to be in small classes and I REALLY like the teacher to know who I am because it makes me more comfortable and I don’t mind asking questions and…I don’t know. I just have this thing about it. So hopefully I can still get to know him even with the big class size. Oh, and it’s good he lets us out early cuz I go right to work from that class so it gives me a few more minutes to get to my car and stuff.
Thursday night I went to CRU with my friend Steve, who just transferred to UMBC. So we had a good time there. I was a little disappointed that the speaker did not share the gospel, but it was a good sermon nonetheless. He spoke on John 3:16. We met a lot of people and that was fun. I hope to get involved with the weekly prayer group to pray for the campus and stuff.

SO, that’s most of this week. I don’t have Friday classes. I had work, and that was nice to get out finally.

This semester has already shown to be challenging. Not only academically, but spiritually and mentally. I’m having troubles a bit already. It’s hard to be involved in my care group, singles ministry, church stuff, and school. It’s a delicate balance. So I’m working on it. I’m also just facing a lot more temptation this semester at school. I’m letting my guard down. If I don’t keep a close eye on my life, I am not going to stand firm in my faith. As the writer of Hebrews told the Hebrews, “therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” The Hebrews were straying from the truth they have once known. I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to have to get a letter from a teacher telling me to pay closer attention to what I’ve learned because I have strayed. Not the life for me. So I’m trying not to let myself go through a slow fade. It’s so easy. So, that’s part of this week. I also want to share so badly about Tuesday, but I just don’t have time. I have to vacuum then go to bed. I plan to start back up running this week, so I have to get up early and go running for a little bit (if it doesn’t seem too icy) before a meeting, lunch, and then class and homework then class and then dinner and then a meeting. So, that’s enough for now (1500 words later…)

 

Firsts

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 9:11 PM

So today I booked my first plane ticket! Never done that before 🙂 When you’re one of seven kids, you don’t fly anywhere as a family, haha. But this Spring break I am flying to Florida (Tampa area) to visit my cousin, Luke, and his wife, Lizzy. I’m excited to see them since I haven’t seen them since they were married (if my memory serves me well…) and so that will be fun. Plus…it’s Florida. It’s late March I get to go. It’s definitely something to look forward to 🙂 I’ll work for part of the break (which will basically be the money to pay for the plane tickets) and then fly there! Fun fun! I can’t wait!!!

 

Forgiveness

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 8:41 PM

Becca Barlow posted this on their band’s blog page. I thought it was really insightful. If you have 2.5 minutes, read it. It’s good.

“I love french fries. I could eat them every day and probably every meal too, especially when they are seasoned just right. To make it even better, I love eating them “the Dutch way” which to me means with a little mayo.Those Dutch people are brilliant! But if every time I ate a meal, I went with my feelings and ate them…I bet in a 2-3years I’d die of a heart attack after watching my health decline quickly. Instead, when I sit down to a meal 9 out of 10 times I choose a healthy meal because I am desiring to be healthy and I want to live a long life. I am making choices that benefit my wellbeing and not my feelings.
So is our spiritual life. If every time we were presented with the menu of the world, we followed our feelings, and did what felt right…I’m telling you, you will become spiritually dead in a short amount of time. But if you so desire spiritual health, then you have to eat your vegetables, even though they don’t taste as good as french fries and mayo.. What I mean by this is you have to choose to eat and do what will bring you spiritual health, not death. The greatest news about this is we get to choose how we turn out, we get to choose, by our actions, how healthy we are!
One verse that I can not stop thinking about is found in Isaiah 7:15.
It says ‘Butter and curds and wild honey shall he eat when he knows enough to refuse evil and choose good.’’ Its been really hitting me, Jesus was fully man, (Fully man!) he had to choose to do good, it just didn’t “just happen” to him either. He had to choose it.
What am I getting at, I want you to choose something today and it’s something called
Forgiveness, our secret weapon.
If you are anything like me you have the mentality that when you are wronged, you think “I won’t forgive them they don’t deserve my forgiveness’’ mentality. Or am I just being too real?
I know so many times for me in my life when I have been seriously wronged I withhold forgiving because I think some how my unforgiveness will make them pay for what they did to me…Well, boy was I wrong! Over the last few months God has been opening my eyes to see what really happens. When I withhold my forgiveness it actually puts me in chains while the person who did the hurt is walking around free! Oh, the irony! I realized that I was the one who was really paying for what happened, not them. So lets look at this another way, I know for most of us we know we should forgive but we just can’t because the hurt is so great. I want to let you know we have been misinformed as the church the real truth about forgiveness. We see forgiveness as a weakness, we see it as us having to be the underdog, to not say ‘what they did to me was unjust!’ To, in a sense, submit or roll over.
Well I’m telling you that is not forgiveness. True forgiveness is actually one of our greatest weapons, It’s a powerful force. and it in no way excuses the person, or harm done. It says I’m moving forward away from you (or it) but God is going to require payment from them..and I get to walk away free.
So do you want it?
Do you want to walk away free, with the upper hand, with the great victory and leave the memory to be judged?

I have great news for you, You can choose it. You can choose your freedom today. We don’t have to do things because we feel them, we can choose to believe the truth and find our freedom..Then the “good” feeling will follow the right choices we have made!

If you have read the New Testament, you will see how many times forgiveness is addressed, I started paying attention to it and realized that this must be a big deal if its talked about so much. I just want to be honest with you, I am a really laid back person, things don’t really ruffle me all that often, so I thought I was practicing forgiveness and being a really forgiving person. Ha! The Lord is so kind in his correction, I was way off. I opened the door to ask and see, is there really anything I need to forgive, I mean to really look at.. and lets just say almost ever day for 3 months I have been repenting and forgiving. Most of it was I held so much un-forgiveness towards myself for things I have done, from little things to big things. But every day that I forgive, I feel lighter. Every day I forgive, I feel stronger. Life feels different to me now. I feel so hopeful, so joyful. I realized my un-forgiveness had me bound as a slave for so long and this freedom tastes so good that I want more and all of it. Thats why I am going to the depths of myself to get rid of anything that will hinder my freedom.

We don’t forgive because we feel like it, we forgive because its our key to freedom. When we choose to forgive, we have just picked up our greatest weapon.”

 

Friendship January 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 2:23 PM

As you know, I’ve been listening to a TON of Mark Driscoll as of late. In a recent sermon I listened to, Pastor Mark talked about friendships. I loved his definition he posted:

a friend is a trustworthy peer with whom we mutually choose to lovingly live with by seeking unique access and service for God’s glory and our mutual good.

Trustworthy: You can trust this person and talk to them freely. You know that what you tell them wont go around as gossip to others
Peer: They’re somewhat in the same place as you. There are a LOT of different relational titles. Friend is important. The title matters. There are parent-child, teacher-student, pastor-congregation, doctor-patient, acquaintance, etc. But a friend is someone who is a peer.
Who mutually choose: You BOTH choose to be friends. You both hold weight and importance to the relationship and want to work at it together, knowing that two sinners sharing life together will not be easy.
To lovingly live with: As friends, you do life together and share your lives with one another. You have to do it lovingly. It wont work any other way, trust me.
By seeking unique access and service: As a person’s friend, you have unique access. Pastor Mark was saying how you can’t just call up anyone at 2am and expect them to be there for you. You can’t just show up anywhere uninvited/unexpected and hope to be welcomed in warmly. As friends, you have unique access to each other. You wouldn’t give your doctor or student your cell phone number, but you would offer to a friend.
For God’s glory and our mutual good: Do I have to expand on this? We work together, share life, have access to, and serve all for God’s glory. We have mutually chosen to be friends for God’s glory. But also for our mutual good. We serve, help, teach each other. We both give, we both take.

 

Anyway, I just really enjoyed his insight and wanted to share some of my thoughts as well as his. I got to talk with a friend yesterday about friendships and about this definition. As friends, you have to agree with what a friendship is, what the terms are, and what you’re expecting. So while it seems strange to have a definition of what a friendship IS, I think it’s quite necessary.