keep it simple, stupid.

I never, ever, ever, ever thought I would…but I think I have actually gotten tired of the meta-analysis of life that is so easy to do as a young-college-Christian-hopeful person. I am tired of thinking about my definition of myself. I’m tired of thinking about what every decision and action and word means to the vision of my life. I’m tired of trying to reason God into or out of every little event or circumstance.

On one hand, that’s awesome, and I think that deeper meaning can be found pretty much anywhere, if you see it and find it true and useful. But I think it can be problematic as well.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find a way to write a blog post about a bunch of things I’ve read recently, subconsciously hoping to make it some grand revelation of something grand I’ve learned. The truth is, I haven’t had many big revelations lately, about faith or about my personality or about the world in general.

I currently have a pretty steady worldview and a pretty steadily fluctuating view of myself that I’ve just gotten used to as a rather unstable part of my life that I don’t think I have to figure out. And I think it’s more important to figure other people out anyway.

But this is not normal for me. It feels strange for my mind not to be scanning through a thousand thoughts at a time and blowing itself up every day. Not that I’m not thinking about life or important things. I am. I just don’t feel like everything is so epic anymore, because I know what I think about things.

Is this what it’s like to know who you are?

That’s not to say that confidence has been achieved. That’s not to say that I like who I am all the time, or ever. That’s not to say that I know exactly what I want to do or say or be all the time, or ever.

It’s to say: God knows me. God knows who I am and who I will be, and even who I was (I forget about that person sometimes). God likes me. He even loves me. (WAT?) He knows what I will do and say and be…all the time forever. And I think my confidence rests there. It rests in the not knowing. I don’t know, but the knowing is in better hands.

And maybe this reads like a revelation, and a meditation on my own mind. But it feels much less so than normal. And I am okay with that. I am okay.

A recent quote that has made lots of sense to my life:

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”
– Bill Cosby

Don’t get caught up in the fear or the not knowing.

Maybe I’ll just end with some quotes that have encouraged me lately…because, as John Green once said: “Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than the stories and people we’re quoting.”

Oh, the levels of nerdiness happening right now.

“Worry about your character, not your reputation. Your character is who you are. Your reputation is who people think you are.”
-Uncited source, found on tumblr

“People need to be encouraged. People need to be reminded of how wonderful they are. People need to be believed in – told that they are brave and smart and capable of accomplishing all the dreams they dream and more. Remind each other of this.”
– Stacey Jean Speer

“You cannot live when you are untouchable. Life is vulnerability.”
– Edouard Boubat (though the concept has been written by so so many people)

“Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”
James 1:20 (NLT)

“Expectations can kill joy. The joy-filled humbly don’t have any expectations. And are surprised by the fullest life.”
– Ann Voskamp

“Thank God for the past and you can trust Him for the future. Trust is a bridge from past to future built with planks of thanks.”
– Ann Voskamp

“Stress can be an addiction and worry can be a lunge for control. But the answer to every moment is always yes because of Christ.”
– Ann Voskamp

“Joy’s a flame in the palm of the open and humble. Clench the hand tight, point the fingers to the self, and this snuffs out joy.”
– Ann Voskamp

“It’s our wild desire to protect our joy at all costs that smothers our joy. Like a flame needs oxygen, joy needs an open hand.”
– Ann Voskamp

(Seriously, I need to read Ann’s book.)

I hope those are encouraging to you as well. They certainly have been to me. I don’t feel the need to comment on them much. They speak for themselves, and their authors put the words together in a way I cannot match.

Enjoy what’s left of June. Acknowledge and give thanks for each moment. That’s what I’m telling myself, at least. c:

This picture = honey cinnamon masks with the wonderful lady and roommate and friend. Love and summer and simple things like a bizarre substance dripping from my face.

Image

on a hopeful note

This summer is most definitely forcing me to be present. I have a tendency to see what’s going to happen next before I’ve even begun to work on my present tasks. I also have a tendency to be a task-oriented person. I’m working on my blog right now, which is a task that I will check off my list of things I’ve wanted to do. But I won’t be happy about my accomplishment of this task, because it will be time to focus on the next thing I haven’t gotten done yet. Sure, I will have written something new to post, but then I’ll realize I have ten books to read and more thoughts to write about and more things to clean and…

I have been trying to find things on the Internet to do that are not tumblr, so I’ve been reading more of the news lately. (This is also the result of my International Human Rights class, for which I am grateful.) The idea of staying up to date with the news is appealing to me, but I always feel overwhelmed when sorting through articles and websites trying to figure out what to read, and a little disgusted after reading about mostly terrible things going on around the world.

God popped a little reminder into my head the other day, though. It is finished.
That line. Those words. Remember, it is finished.

I don’t have to save the world. God hasn’t just left us here to battle it out. Those of us who know Jesus is our savior can rest in the fact that nothing we  do will change the fate of the world. Some people will die forever, and some people will live forever. Some people will commit evil on this earth. Some people will work to counter that evil. But evil will never be completely eradicated. We can’t expect to stamp out all evil from the world.

When I was at RUF Summer Conference in Florida about a month ago, the ladies who taught one of the seminars I went to discussed the difference between longings and expectations. Longings are desires for good, ultimately holy things. Expectations are idealistic desires for immediate results. Our longings are based on things that God wants for us, but that might not come to fruition in this life. Our expectations are desires for those things (as well as selfish things) to come true in the near future.

I long for evil to be defeated. I long for human rights to become a reality for everyone in every crevice of the world. But if I expect it to happen, I will never feel anything but defeated. If I expect to be able to make everyone live with love and compassion and care about those around them, disappointment will fog up my days, and I won’t be able to function. I do have a lot of foggy days.

That longing for the world to be a place devoid of evil is based on both the past and the future – the original state of creation, and the future state of the new heavens and the new earth.

It was my sin that held Him there
until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life.
I know that it is finished.

(“How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”)