Archive for June 2011

God my inheritance, by Rachel Starr Thomson

June 27, 2011

I am twenty-eight, and I am single. I don’t know whether I always will be, but I am sure single now. Several of my friends, both men and women, are in the same boat. And some of us will never marry.  Read More.

Along the same lines as some of my recent posts, Rachel Starr Thomson deals with singleness, Levites, and a Godly inheritance.  I was glad to read the thought of someone who is several years farther along the single path than I, as it gives me a better perspective on my own situation now.

Toward a New Frontier

June 26, 2011

So, I promised a post summarizing my thoughts on graduating.  Neither of my graduations involved a major change for me, so in some sense I am not going to be able to speak to the larger experience of most graduates.  At the same time, I have also faced changes to my lifestyle that would be comparable to much of what is encountered in a move to a college campus.  Still, my thoughts at this time do not focus on what is changing, but what has been and will be the same.

My graduation from college has not really changed anything so far as my immediate circumstances are concerned.  I’m still living at home with no intentions of deserting the parental domain any time soon (it’ll take some prince charming to carry me off from this happy home, let me tell you!).  I already had a part-time job as of this past January, so I haven’t even been in a huge hurry to find a full-time one (which reminds me, my resume still needs work . . .).  So my life is much the same as it has been for the last four years.  The biggest difference that I have noticed is that I am not planning ahead for the next semester’s courses.

Am I feeling any different?  I have two answers to this question.  The first is, different from what?  If you mean different from what I felt before graduating from college, then my second answer is yes and no.  No because although the ceremony helped give me the sense of completion, I don’t have my actual diploma in hand yet.  No because I am still the same girl I have always been.  No because this summer has been progressing very much like any of the last few, with plenty of things to do, relatives to entertain, and fun to be had with family and friends.  Yes because I now have a sense (not urgent yet but growing) that I need to find a full-time job soon.  Yes because I do not have the familiar routine of studies to look forward to.

If the question means different from when I graduated from highschool, then the answer is a definite yes.  While I have not noticed any major changes in myself, I do know that I have gained a lot of assurance over four years of online schooling.  People sometimes worry about my socialization when they find out I was homeschooled and then did college online, but I laugh to myself because it was through online discussions that I gained the confidence to step outside of my normal shy, wallflower pose and approach people in various social contexts.  Most people now would hardly credit me with being shy, although I still have some tendencies to avoid new contacts and choose to talk to people with whom I am already comfortable.  I am now almost as likely to go over and start a conversation with someone I don’t know, and I’m less uncomfortable in situations where I know no one, although I may tend to avoid those situations sometimes.

Of course, I have to be different from the highschool graduate who wasn’t paying enough attention to avoid getting a sunburn — no such trouble this time around since the graduation was all indoors in the Saratoga Springs City Center.  I have been walking with Jesus for four more years now that I had not when I graduated last time.  When you walk with Jesus, He changes you, even when you aren’t noticing it.  My father has written a song based on several scriptures, and the refrain of it comes from I John 3:2, “For when we see him, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”  Equally true, I think, is that the more we see of him (in scripture), the more we become transformed into his image.

So, why am I not feeling more of a difference as I face a new frontier?  Perhaps because I have not had time yet to notice that difference.  Perhaps because I am so confident in my guide and comforter that I am not daunted by the thought of entering a new stage in my life as I was (a little) four years ago.  And perhaps because this new frontier is not so new.

For the real frontier I am facing is one of walking with Jesus.  I have been walking with Jesus through college, and now I will be walking with Jesus while he prepares me.  Yes, I meant to leave that sentence where I did.  I realize that there is a stage between college and marriage.  Some people seem very intent on making that transition as quickly as possible.  Others at least need the comfort of having a boy/girlfriend to make that transition look nearer.  I recognize that God has things to teach me in this waiting time.  And my intent is to walk with him throughout this new stage (for stage it is, just as surely as college and marriage are stages) as well as throughout my life.

So in a sense I am not actually facing a new frontier.  I am merely closer to the frontier which I have been striving toward all the time.  My walk has had many twists and turns, but not remarkably many.  My walk has had plenty of stops along the way, and has involved plenty of friends to walk beside me.  So have many other people’s.  The most remarkable thing about my life has been its goal, and even that is a common one with all my Christian brothers and sisters.  It is only remarkable in that God is remarkable, for I am always looking toward the finish line when I shall stand in glory and see God face to face.  Strangely enough, I am excited about being in the presence of Elohim, God Almighty, YHWH.  For he is my father, and, weak and sinful child that I am, I still desire above all else to be near my Father, who loves me in spite of all.

May you also catch a glimpse of this calling, the calling of your heavenly Father to you, his child: “Come.”  We cannot fathom what may await us in heaven, for it is truly a new frontier of which none of us now has the capacity to comprehend the whole, but we can rest assured that it will be good, or rather, that it will be God.  To all those who are graduating or who are facing other new stages of their lives, let me encourage you to keep your focus on Christ, where it belongs, and let the path go where it will.  For everything becomes clearer when you look to Jesus to write your story.

WORLD Magazine | Couples in community | Susan Olasky | Jun 18, 11

June 22, 2011

WORLD Magazine | Couples in community | Susan Olasky | Jun 18, 11.

This is the promised Part 2 to the article from the previous issue, “Boy Meets Girl.”  Susan Olasky could have taken several directions in answering the question, “what are we going to do about the situation?” from the first article, which discussed how Christian young people are finding it difficult to move forward in an atmosphere that encourages all or nothing in mixed relationships.  This second segment focuses on what churches can be doing to foster a healthy atmosphere for healthy relationships.

I have to admit, my church does not seem to make a point of fostering healthy friendships among the young adults.  Although there is a teen program, not much was available for young adults until I started periodically hosting game nights or other young adult events.  I’m not able to host as often as I’d like, but it’s more than nothing, and I think it has been fun for some of the young people to get together in a mixed group and have fun.  I’d love to do more, and I wish others would or could step up and do some hosting as well, but maybe that’s too much to expect when most young people don’t understand their own need.

As a young woman, I know I have a need for friendship with both men and women of all ages, including peers.  I’m learning so much about people in general and preparing in many different ways, sometimes almost subconsciously, for the special friend who will someday become my husband.  I’m learning what kinds of personality types I get along with very well, what traits get on my nerves, and how to interact with all kinds of people.

Why isn’t there more attention to this from my church or in the church at large?  I don’t know for sure, but it seems like churches are assuming that young people already have a support group for that — their families.  But I don’t know that every young person is getting that support from their family.  I know that I do have a lot of support from mine, but I still miss something from not having the encouragement of my church family.

Actually, the encouragement I get from different church friends is more focused on a dating type of relationship and tends to focus too much on the superficial and not the more important spiritual aspects of friendships.  Yes, I know that dating is the accepted mode of getting to know a future spouse, but it’s discouraging to me that even people who know that I have no interest in the dating game talk to me in those terms.  I have had to be my own encouragement or find it among the books and blogs that I read.

Waiting for the spouse God has chosen for me can be hard, and it would be so nice to have solid encouragement and real friendships in the mean time.  I have the encouragement of my parents, who ask me the tough questions, but I also have the discouragement of being misunderstood by church family, leaving me wondering what could be happening differently to make things better.

How about you?  Are you feeling supported by your church family?  What do they do or not do which you think is or could be helpful?  Maybe you were recently married or are soon to be wed.  What was helpful in your journey toward marriage?

Poetry from the Word

June 21, 2011

My humble apologies for the lack of new posts around here this past couple of weeks.  You knew I had a graduation, but I’ve also had out-of-state family visiting, which has cut down on my writing time.  I’ll try to remedy the situation in the next few days by posting several things that have been on the back burner for some time, but no promises!  In the meantime, here’s a poem I wrote a few weeks ago.

Go, And Sin No More

Living with a burden too heavy to bear,
I was led into sin by a friend
My judges dragged me to the Master’s feet
I was used to bait a trap
Ashamed I stood there, waiting for death
my judges had brought their own stones
The silence grew long and I opened my eyes
for my accusers repeated the query
The Master ignored them and wrote on the ground
how I longed to read that writing
They badgered, insisted, till the Master rose
and gave them an answer unthought of
“Let him without sin cast the first stone”
and again He wrote on the ground
Bracing myself, I had again closed my eyes
but I opened them wide at the thump
The eldest judge had dropped his stone
my wonder was infinite
One by one each judge dropped his missile
and each by turn left the place
Finally none but I was left
so the Master rose once more
“Where are your judges?  Did no one condemn?”
I answered him, “No man, Lord”
Then my life was changed by the words that he spoke
as He gently sent me away
“Neither do I condemn you,” He said
“Go, and sin no more.”

Are you living with sin like a weight in your heart,
that is dragging you down to your death?
Have your friends turned away when you needed them most
and given you up to your fate?
The Master is waiting, forgiveness in hand
if only you’ll seek you will find Him
For He is the Son who can light up your heart
and give you a chance for rebirth

~Homeschoolgraduate

Graduation 2011

June 13, 2011

Graduation 2011

The sky was gray, and the gowns were black
but the faces were full of smiles.
Distance Learners from Empire State
parading across the stage.
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s degrees
to graduates young and old.
Sharing the platform with history
and some giants in distance education.
One of two hundred and ten I was
shaking our president’s hand.
A medal, a picture, a pin and you’re done
but the symbols stand for much more.
The journey’s not over ’cause learning’s for life
but this was a milestone large.
Cheers, Congrats, Blessings to all
the Class of 2011!

~Homeschoolgraduate

‘Tis the Season…

June 5, 2011

…for graduations!

My sister has officially graduated from highschool!

If you asked her or my mother, I’m guessing they would say that she’s not done with homeschool, but then, neither am I.  Homeschooling is more than the thirteen years of academics, so it’s not limited to them.  I’m still learning so much from my parents that it would seem funny to say that I’m done with homeschooling!  In reality, homeschooling is still the underlying basis of my lifestyle, even though it now includes a part-time job and other things.  This will also be true, though perhaps to a lesser extent, for my sister.

My apologies if this post is short and maybe even a bit incoherent.  Three days at our homeschool convention culminating in my sister’s graduation ceremony and celebratory dinner rather wiped me out!  I may be able to write more on the subject of graduating after the coming weekend, when my turn comes for the second time.

Congratulations to all the graduates of 2011!

“Ishi” (via Echoes In The Wind)

June 1, 2011

For those struggling with the wait for married blessedness, here’s Laura’s latest encouragement. The post is written by a young woman primarily for young women, but you guys may get something out of it, or out of the (long) comment I left her at the end.

“Ishi”

How I struggle with the idea of singleness! It only takes a happy newlywed couple to bring me to tears, asking God “Will I ever have a love story?” “Is it for me to be married?” “Am I supposed to be single?” No “real” answer. Just that little voice I love and sometimes hate at the same time: stop asking.   It doesn’t help … Read More

via Echoes In The Wind


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