(to me, from me)
Because my bio may say I was born September 8th, but as of yesterday many many years ago =) I was given a second birthday, a new family, and a fresh life! Yes, I've been born again. And that reality makes every day worth living. Because I have someone to live for - God! He's my father, and my friend, and I have his eternal love.
God's love has really been something that I have come to a greater appreciation for during the course of this semester. God's approval on my life, his patience with my shortcomings, his encouragement with my growth to higher peaks in the future. I have an awesome God, and it's really sad today to think that many of the people around me (at work, at the mall, etc.) have lives void of his fulfilling presence. Earthly love has its ups and downs, its thrills and its anguish, its triumph and its failure. But God's love for me? It's perfect. It's never going away. And he only offers me more of it, each day, as much as I would like to claim.
What could be a better inspiration to wake up each day, looking for ways to please him and make him smile that, yupp - I'm his daughter, and yupp - I love him, too!
Over the weekend my college hosted a Southern Gospel Jubilee, during which I heard a very sweet, touching song about Tomorrow. The lyrics were so perfect - Fear not tomorrow, God is already there. He's already plotting the course I will take, he knows each hidden snare. Fear not tomorrow, God is already there. I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand!
I liked that thought that he's already planning out tomorrow, and he's already experiencing everything that he will let me go through. What a thought! This really makes me wonder why I may think I have a right to complain, be frustrated, disappointed, or upset. Can't I just trust God and accept his plot for my life?
Well, it's been a really long semester. =)
At the same time, really short! Time is funny that way.
More recently than not, God has put in my path a young lady with an incredible story. She has been such a help and encouragement to me, in a way I was unexpecting could happen. I have felt very honored that she's opened up her past, and the lessons learned, in order to strengthen my own present & future. I feel sad because our ways are parting.
Today I opened my mailbox, and I found a note with her handwriting. I often laugh because people misspell my name (the masculine, German Noel, rather than the feminine, French Noelle). She seems to be creative - she took my name, and made an acronym of it, perhaps to remind me that my name (who I am) is a perfect plan of God, with a perfect story in His eyes. I was tickled, and thought I'd share:
N - never underestimate your worth to God!
O - only worry about what God can't handle!
E - enjoy the blessings that God sends your way!
L - live for God and life won't be wasted!
L - lean on God and he'll carry you through!
E - every day is a chance to make a difference!
Onto a livelier note,
Has anyone heard of Route 66? It's one of the old highways, as seen in the Disney movie Cars, and it runs through Arcadia, Oklahoma, about forty minutes away from my new college. Well, situated on the side of this old highway is a gas station/local landmark, called POPS.
This over-sized petroleum transfer station has an exaggerated amount of parking space off to the side cut into a green field, and if you go near the lunch or dinner hour - it will be full to the brim with visitors from all over the area. Erected near the entrance, just off the graveled edges of the highway stands a tall metal sculpture of a soda bottle, complete with colossal straw! It is 66 feet tall!! And the walls of the gas station are a story and a half high, sheer glass, lined with miles of shelving. Proudly displayed on all these shelves, visible through the glass for all the cars driving by to see?
Literally thousands and thousands of them. Every jeweled color - orange, blue, green, pink, yellow, red, purple, glinting and capturing the artificial lights.
For real. =)
Pops is just a gas station that houses a collection of old-fashioned, modern, and imported sodas. There were probably upward of 300 soda brands being sold. I can't even remember them all! Jones, Crush, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Love Potion 49, Leningrad, Fizzy Lizzy, Old Brooklyn, Berghoff Chicago, Dang! That's Good, Nehi, etc. You could pick anything you liked, from hundreds of flavors! It was amazing =) =)
Pops also has a mom-and-pops old-fashioned style cafe, which serves amazing classic American cuisine like an Edmond burger (my choice!) - 1/4 pound beef, sliced hot pastrami, sauteed mushrooms, swiss cheese, bacon, mmmm!!! =) Chili cheese fries, hotdogs with saurkraut, grilled cheese, onion rings, etc. Such a great atmosphere! =)
So for the fun of it, I included the website for Pops. Go check it out! =) Be sure to open the tab "Landmark!" It has all the fun info!
On a different note, today is the first day of finals! They will last this week, and that's the end of the academic year... wow...
I hope that this is a good month for all my readers. I hope you see God's love for you. I hope you trust in his steady hand. I believe the biggest lesson God has taught me at Bible college can be simply explained in 3 verses.
1 John 2:8 "...the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth." What a praise! When God brings blessings into my life, and shows me his goodness, and leads me up onto a mountain top.
Job 30:26 "when I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for the light, there came darkness." When Satan attacks, when God sends me through a trial, when the valley is low and the sadness or fear intense. When there seems to be no end.
This semester, God has opened up his key to survive between these two extremes. A balance, I said when I voiced what I was seeking. Balance for my spiritual, emotional, and even physical state.
The answer is in Psalm 139:10, 12. The first, a verse that has long been fiercely dear to me; the latter, a new revelation of God in my life. Because there will always be darkness with the light...
"Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."
God will never change. In the light. In the darkness. The circumstances, the giddy happiness or excruciating grief, do not influence the character and presence of God. The balance is in trusting in God. A hard thing to do! But the only way.
So with the new month, May, I wanted to share these thoughts with my dear readers. I hope that they will work some difference in someone's life and perhaps be an encouragement. Summer is on the doorstep, and with all the inevitable changes life will soon undergo for everyone, I pray that we will all remember Psalm 139: 10&12