Monday, March 28, 2011

This is probably the most blatantly candid I will ever be on this blog, but writing is the only way I can process.

I am on the verge of tears as I sit here, typing away as if I do not have a million other tasks to be completing. Stress has stayed consistent since last week, but it seems that the expectations only continue to rise, making stress consequently do the same. I've finally had a chance to write in my prayer journal, and while the presence of the Lord always seems to make those brimming tears overflow, He is also very quick to wipe them dry. At this point, the amount and level of 'stuff' I have going on until spring break is no longer able to be amounted into words. But, this shouldn't mean I allow it to take over me and stop trusting in the One who knows I am going to make it through just fine. And yes, more than fine.

The Lord, now that I think about it, has been teaching me a lot about trust, but I didn't realize until now that there are many different facets to trust. I've learned to surrender a certain areas to Him, and am now at complete peace with those, but He is currently drilling it into me what it means to trust in Him in times like this; where I simply have an overload of work to complete but not nearly enough time to complete it. I need to trust that this period of craziness in scheduling is merely that; a period. It is not going to last forever and I will not die as the result of it.

Not only do I thus need to be diligent in my time usage, I also need to be joyful and thankful throughout. Shocking, I know, that the Lord wants us to be joyful during times of hardship, but He does. My attitude has suffered so badly this last week, worse than it has in a very long time, and that was such a sour reminder of how my character was before Jesus saved me from it. Attitude determines almost everything, but it effects absolutely everything. There is no point in being stressed AND having a terrible attitude AND complaining all the time AND wasting time dwelling on these burdens. Being stressed takes up enough energy, there is no room to add in all the others! The rest of my energy needs to go straight to the Lord, being thankful and content in Him and sure of His strength.

It is all too easy to let stress control us and then forget that we have an Orchestrator above us who is already piecing everything together. Okay, Lord, trusting in You round two has been in full swing for about a week now, thanks for letting me see what You were doing prior to total self-destruction. ;)

One day task at a time. Today, I must dig into this piano lesson. I will then grab my things, and head straight to life-guarding training where I will be until 8:30p.m. There I will be confident, alert, and excited to learn! (Which actually isn't too hard!) Then I will come back, work on ear training, and get to bed in time for a solid 9 hours of sleep. (Last night I went to bed at 8:30 and had no trouble sleeping the entire night...goodness)

My goal is to make it to Friday this week...Friday will meet me with a day off from training and a date with my mother.

That is something to be thankful for.


(the picture? just can't help but make me smile...that elephant is stoooooked)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So much to do, so little time.

This week has been, hands down, the craziest of the semester. Between prepping for our second ear-training midterm tomorrow, having piano lessons every afternoon after classes for over an hour, getting support letters organized for Portland, enduring crazy weather, anticipating the start of life-guarding training on Saturday, having dangerously low estrogen levels...(at this point, it's just the facts, sorry for information overload) I feel I might explode.

To top it off, I feel a dry cough beginning within me and I cannot get sick. Especially not now.

I understand now why this week is usually spring break week. Suddenly everything just hits at the same time, but expectation levels remain just as high, as if all the energy in the world was still fueling me. Piano and music might be taking over my life. I have never spent so much time in another facet of my schooling as I have there. I love it, but goodness.. it's a hard thing to be involved in when time is so scare.

Life-guarding training has me so excited, but knowing that it will be from Monday through Friday, 4:30-8:30, and Saturday/Sunday 8:30-5 for two weeks, I am just anxiously awaiting the realization that I will have infinitely LESS time that I do this week...and that is overwhelming.

If you think of me, pray for me!! These next three weeks aren't slowing down, only speeding up. Even when training ends, it's the last week before break, meaning major preparation for the Night Of Classics, (our biggest music production of the year, which I'm performing piano at) and then early the next morning (first day of break) I head to Portland, OR for a 5-day mission trip. Break will be short.

Then summer...?!

Time is about to FLY.

Lord be with us all!! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. 
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." 
Psalm 46:10-11

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I forgot to mention last post that my brother is ENGAGED!! Nathan is marrying Caitlin after dating for a trillion years, and she is already my sister, so needless to say the wedding is going to be absolutely beautiful. It will be in June (perfect month) and I'm a bridesmaid! First time! I am so excited and happy for them. Caitlin put me in charge of finding the wedding cake design. (Ideal job for me). Isn't this cake fun with its confetti sprinkles? Not quite elegant enough for a wedding, but it is so cute regardless.

This week has been busy in every aspect of the word, and this weekend will be equally so. Today has been wonderful, though, and in midst of this busyness I have made sure to take time out to breathe. I had a great workout this morning and since my craving for coffee would not cease, I treated myself to an Americano. The great thing about Starbucks is that they often mess up your order. This then means that you get a free drink. That happened to me today; good choice, Alyssa.

I am heading home tonight for just a day, because my amazing grandparents are coming over tomorrow for lunch. Both my grandma and my grandpa mean so much to me. Both of them have battled some pretty serious health scares this last year, (and they are in fantastic shape for their age, so it was surprising for the whole family) but they have come out stronger than ever. I love them, I love them, I love them. Even though I have one more huge midterm to conquer, a take-home test that I just remembered right now, (aah!) a theory project, and a Portland mission trip support letter to write...phew...nothing can steal my time more than an afternoon with my family. 

Jesus has been so good to me these last few days. I am finding so much contentment in His will and His timing, and every day I spend in the Word and journaling is a day that He continues to take care of my heart. "Be still and know that I am God," is a verse that is on repeat within me. I have the joy of my salvation and the peace that He is above all else. He is more than enough.

Happy weekend, everyone. Enjoy this sunshine, and don't forget to set your clocks back tonight! Boo for one less hour of sleep, but yay for longer days of light. :) Spring is here!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Timing is always a hard guessing game, and both unfortunately and fortunately, it is a guessing game that can only be won through waiting. 

We are controllers. No matter which way it's cut, we want to be in control of our tomorrows. Pretty ironic, considering that we aren't even in control of our todays. We have a God who is All-Knowing and All-Providing and All-Faithful, but all we want to do is take everything into our own hands and push the start button or the stop button. Sometimes I can't help but think that He is either constantly frustrated by our humanness or humored by it. Probably both.

I don't want to take my tomorrows into my own hands. I want Jesus to continue to guide them as He has been, because He is leading me in truth. But through waiting, He is also developing this virtue of patience that is so difficult to obtain, and then (oomph, the hard part) maintain

It seems like everyone around me is in this same boat of the unknown. Plans for the future scare us, and plans for the summer, and plans for next year. We don't know who we want to be yet, or if we are ready, or if we can do it. We doubt where we are right now, in this moment, based on the past. We forget what we are being taught because we are too busy worrying about the lesson. We are insecure because we are not perfect, and we do not always perform our best. We are hurt by loss, but terrified of new beginnings, and we get stuck in this rut of never-ending fears that eventually threaten to control all of who we are. 

Do we really want that paragraph to be the exact way we feel all the time? Is that really what we always want to be able to relate to?

I want to be able to confide in Trust and Peace. I want to relate to Patience and Understanding. Please, let us let go of all that we are holding onto, because it is surely out of our grasp anyway. I don't want to live in fear of what is down the road, I want to live in faith of what is down the road. And that begins with trusting in the right now. Sure, it's easier said than done.

But it shouldn't have to be, and I don't think Jesus wants it to be. Our relationship with Him should be an adventure. An adventure where each new day, we have the privilege of looking to Him to lead our steps. I think that's pretty remarkable. Can we please take advantage of it?

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." -Phillipians 1:6

Friday, March 4, 2011

 I love these! Cupcakes are my newest guilty pleasure, and they're quite the trend right now. (please excuse the creepy doll)
I haven't blogged nearly enough this last month, and now it's already March! Does this blow anyone else's mind as much as it does mine?

This week has been one of productivity, something that I have long been evading. Productivity yields so many rewards; I often forget that I do enjoy being on top of my schoolwork, my piano songs, and most importantly, my time with Jesus. It gives me time to rest, blog, and just enjoy life without a constant stress-cloud looming above my head!

A terrible flu is absolutely invading our campus, and I have done well at escaping it thus far...thank you daily woman vitamins, immune-boosting keifir, and gym-trips that had been all too infrequent!

Last weekend my beautiful Aunts Darlene and Jeanine and Uncles George and Mike came to the Sacramento area. They treated me and some friends to P.F. Changs for dinner, and my goodness, I have never eaten so much in my life. No exaggeration. I had a four-month pregnant food fetus. It was wonderful to see them and catch up; my extended family means so much to me.

I am going to cut this short, I am leaving for a night of goodies and giggles (cheeeesssy) with my favorite alto, choir girls! We are the best.

Happy weekend, everyone!