Random Things...

Hey there!  I've just come off of a week of cold-and-flu and my brain is still a little bit mush so... this is going to be random.  These are all things that have been floating around in my brain lately, in no particular order...

Thing Number One:  Puffs Tissues
   With my fore-mentioned cold-and-flu, I have become very attached to these wonderfully soft things!  I haven't really expressed my love very nicely (think about it for a second...), but I hope that they know how important they are to me.

Thing Number Two:  Crayola Twistables
   I have long wanted to be one of those people who highlights and makes notes in their Bible, but I've been too chicken to actually do it.  UNTIL NOW!!!  I have discovered the perfect highlighting tool!  These crayon-not-crayon things are amazing!  No bleed through, no rub off, not too dark, no page ripping or rippling, so cheap (yet essentially the same thing as what is marketed as a dry bible highlighter) ...I can't think of anything much else to say about them, all I want to do is use exclamation marks!  !!!!!
   Now that I've got the highlighting part down, I feel like my next step is to work up the courage to use my pen.  I've researched it to death and have my archival ink pens (temporarily misplaced, but somewhere in my room)... soon, I think I'll bite the bullet soon.

Thing Number Three:  Missions
   I have some friends who were just on (I have trouble keeping track of dates in general and it goes completely out the window when I get sick, so... possibly still on?) a mission trip, and it's got me thinking about missions again.  I haven't been on one in a couple of years and would love to go on one again, but even more than that, I've been thinking about the impact they've had on my life already.
   I never did have the same reactions that most have on their mission trips.  The only culture shock I experienced was in the airports and possibly with the food, I didn't feel my heart breaking at every turn, and I have always been disappointed with my lack of ability to communicate through the communication barrier.
   But that's the bad news.
   I always just saw people who were filled with more JOY than most people up in North America can claim to have, who loved Jesus more ENTHUSIASTICALLY than any Christians I had ever met, and who lived with more UNDERSTANDING of what evangelism is than I had ever understood.  Rather than giving all of the blessing, I always felt more blessed -- I was the one receiving the life-changing!
   Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that my assistance in building their church, painting their pews and shutters, doing some children's features, and heartily thanking the ladies that cooked every meal for us, was a blessing for them, but... I can't help but feel that I still got the long stick, and that is what I've been thinking about...
   I am reminded of how every time I came back home I was even more grateful for the abundance that I already had, and that I didn't care at all about gaining MORE.  I was abundantly grateful for the love of family and friends and church.  I felt inspired to live joyfully and simply, thanking God for each day.
  Those feelings had faded (some quite a bit) until I was praying for my friends and their trip.  I'm grateful for these reminders and I'm trying to live by those understandings again.

Thing Number Four:  My Youth Group <3
   We've had some younger teens join our group in the last couple of weeks and I gotta tell you, it has given me a brand new perspective on how awesome my "regulars" are!  I am so proud of those teenagers, I feel like a parent, looking at them and thinking, "That's my kid!"  The amount of growth and maturity I see as they welcome these younger (and more annoying) kids and make them feel like a part of the group... I just can't stop telling them how awesome they are and how proud I am of them.  They rock and I'm so lucky to get to witness that!

Thing Number Five:  Meaningful Friendships
   Friends I can have deep talks with, do stupid things with, and be my usual quirky self with, all within a couple of hours, are awesome.  I'm grateful for every one of those friends and what they add to my life.

Thing Number Six:  Sherlock
   I was introduced to BBC's Sherlock over Christmas break.  I watched the season 2 finale with the same "WHAAAAAT!?!" reaction as everybody who has seen it, and resigned myself to waiting in sorrow for who knows how long until season 3 became a reality.
   BUT I have recently discovered something that has sparked my excitement again!  I won't bore you with the details (if you want to know them, ask me sometime), but the short story is that I realized while watching an episode of Murdoch Mysteries that the BBC show is not just a loose interpretation of the character known as Sherlock Holmes, but that each episode very closely ties into a specific Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writing!  !!!!!
   Needless to say I am preparing to get a little nerdy about all things Sherlock :)
   Plus!  The creators of the BBC show just released three words as clues for what is coming up in the 3rd season (one for each episode, I assume) so... yep, (of course) now I just HAVE TO figure out which original story they refer to.

And lastly...
Thing Number Seven:  Preparation
   God is always teaching me something, but there are moments in time when I suddenly realize how several different things in my life (friendships, sermons, Bible study, etc.) have been combining to teach me the same thing.
   I just had that "Aha!" moment yesterday in church, when I realized that God has been teaching me what He expects of me in relationships.
   I'm not really sure how to put this next part... What I've been learning is certainly useful right now, but all of the learning has been specifically... wife-related...
   Uh... you may recall that I am not currently in (nor have I really ever been) in a relationship, so... perhaps you will join me as I say "????" (with just a little bit of "!!!!!" thrown in there)!
   I'm not really sure what to make of this yet, but I've always been convinced that God will lead me into a relationship when I was "ready", so it's been kind of fun to learn about and embrace (more now, than ever before) His design for marriage.
   And maybe (just a little bit) begin to get excited about what He has in store for me.
   Though I should mention that, even with this "Aha!", He hasn't really given me (or I haven't properly understood) any indication of who/when.  I'm just in the preparation stage :P

That's all for now my lovelies :)  I hope you've enjoyed this snippet into my brain.  It's a little crazy, even to me, that ALL of those things were simultaneously on my mind!  Brains are amazing, God is amazing.

// 2 Timothy 1:12 // ...for I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him... //

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