Bad Day to Good Day

How can a bad day turn into a good day?

How can that be when I have spilled my coffee,

My homework was due last night, not this morning

And my day has been anything but carefree?

 

How can a bad day turn into a good day

When my hair won’t stay in place, my skin breaks out

And my food keeps falling on my brand new clothes?

All I’ve done is make room in my heart for doubt.

 

How can a bad day turn into a good day

When I didn’t receive the grade I wanted

And fell on my face in front of everyone?

I was so embarrassed I could have fainted!

 

How can a bad day turn into a good day?

Remember to sing songs of praise to the Lord.

Thank God for allowing me to have a day.

Be sure that my Bible is not left ignored.

 

How can a bad day turn into a good day?

Notice the beauty of God’s great creation.

Give a stranger a smile and watch them smile back.

Be kind to someone who needs inspiration.

 

How can a bad day turn into a good day?

Remember the Savior who died and arose.

He set me free and loves me like no other.

Remember that and today will have no woes.

 

Any bad day can turn into a good day

When I recognize that God is in control.

 

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The Smile

In keeping with one of the habits I want to form this year (read about my habits for 2016 here) I decided to post twice in one day. Unheard of, I know! The idea for this poem came to me yesterday while we were driving to Taubaté to worship with the saints there. I didn’t have time to really get into it until last night. This is the first poem I’ve written in years and it’s the first one I’ve tried in free form. I hope you enjoy it.

 

The Smile

By Leila Jean M.

 

My sweet dreams are haunted by a smile.

The smile that brought me joy, never bitterness.

The smile of quiet resolve and big dreams.

The smile that refused to give up on us,

Until I gave up on it.

The smile that I pushed away.

 

My big dreams are taunted by the smile.

Had I foreseen my bitter experience

I would have held on tighter to the smile.

No light at the end of the long tunnel.

The smile saw it, but not me.

Now-too late-I see the light.

 

My sad dreams are consoled by the smile.

I fear it is too late for the smile and me.

But I still dream of what I wish could be

But probably will never come to pass.

Longings that won’t be fulfilled.

Wonderings won’t be satisfied.

 

All my dreams are consumed by the smile.

Will God someday grant me peace without the smile?

Can I live the rest of my life knowing

I lost my love because of my choices?

Find a better smile for me?

I don’t think that’s possible.

 

For now, my dreams are haunted by the smile.

Thinking Back, Looking Forward to 2016

I’m always hesitant to come up with resolutions for a new year. I had been having a hard time figuring out why, until I read somewhere that for some people the word resolutions doesn’t carry any weight. I’m not sure why that is, but it sure rings true for me. Maybe it’s because I think to myself that I’ll never complete my resolution anyway, so why bother? Also, sometimes what is important to me now will not be as important as something else that comes up later on in the year.  So instead of resolutions, I have certain habits I want to form throughout this year.

I want to get into the habit of reading more. I want to read more of the Bible, read for pleasure, and read for knowledge. I’m not a naturally curious person, so this might take some effort for me. Reading more of the Bible will enhance my relationship with God and I need that all the time. Reading for pleasure will enhance my relationship with myself because it will give me time to de-stress. Reading for knowledge will enhance my relationship with others because it will give me constructive things to talk about with friends. There are many reasons to read more, but those are just a few of the ones that are important to me.

I want to get into the habit of being healthy. I’m not saying that I’m going to start getting ready to run a marathon. Or a half-marathon. Or a 5k even. I do want to make daily decisions that will lead to a healthier me, nothing too drastic. Things like drinking more water. Maybe eating a salad instead of going for that patty melt. Going for short walks in which I don’t end up in a classroom. I don’t need to go to the extreme to be fit at the moment. I just want to be healthy.

I want to get into the habit of writing more. I’m not talking about writing on the blog, although that does count. I’m highly inconsistent on that. I used to write poems every so often, but I haven’t written one in years. While I’ve been home I’ve come up with ideas for three or four. I finally managed to get one on paper yesterday. I had forgotten that it’s a nice creative outlet for me. So hopefully I’ll have a few poems to share with you throughout this year. I hope you’ll enjoy them! 😉

I want to get into the habit of being organized. I don’t function very well without a structured routine. While my class schedule gives me a pretty good one, I also want to be more organized in other areas. I want to make more of an effort to keep my dorm room neater. Organizing my class notes (need to take notes first!) better will help me study a little easier keeping my grades high as a result.

Last but not least, I want to get into the habit of having quiet time with God. I already mentioned I want to read more of the Bible. That’s great, but I can read the Bible anywhere. I even listen to it in my car sometimes when I’m on a long drive. But if I don’t take the time to think about what I’m reading and what it means for my life, I’m not going to get much out of it. If I don’t find the time to be able to pray, then the conversation is going to be pretty one-sided. Having the quiet time is to help my relationship with God grow. What better way to begin the new year than getting closer to God?

There are other habits that I want to form this year, but these are the main ones that I want to work on. I hope you chose resolutions or new habits to form this year that will help you grow. May God bless you in this new year. Let all that we do be to further His Kingdom!

Thinking Back, Looking Forward

I can’t leave anything the same for very long–the design for my blog, furniture in my dorm room, or even what I carry around with me in my backpack. The urge to change things becomes to strong for me to ignore. That’s also how I’m feeling about this new year coming up. Some things I’ve been doing have been working for me, but others have not. So you know what? I’m thinking of changing things up a bit. However, I wanted to look back on a few things that have happened the past few months. So I’m going to break this one into two different posts–one thinking back and another looking forward.

This past semester I did something I never thought I would do. I was part of the ensemble in the homecoming musical for my school. We did a production of Carousel. It definitely took up more time than I thought it would and challenged me vocally, but it was so worth it. I had fun learning the music and the moves. I had a lot of fun interacting with everyone else on set. I even enjoyed the few hours I put in at the scene shop to work on the set. However, when all was said and done, I am not doing anything like that again any time soon. I have a higher appreciation for all the work that goes into a production like that, but have realized that it’s not something I want to do with any frequency. I already thought I was a pretty disciplined person, but taking on this activity along with everything else taught me how to manage my time even better.

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Carousel Rehearsal

Along the lines of theater, Chorale performed for Freed-Hardeman’s 51st Annual Benefit Dinner. This was a big deal for us. This was probably the largest audience we’ve ever had and it was amazing! There’s nothing better than getting on a stage with my favorite group of people and blowing the audience away. We have a wonderful director and I know we wouldn’t be where we are without him.

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Chorale performing One Day More(Les Miserable)

Another experience I’ve had is that I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed. The surgery itself went great and I only had local anesthesia! During the following week I had to have a lot of patience(so did my parents). I couldn’t eat like I normally did and I’m still not back to normal. I was uncomfortable a lot of the time, but I wasn’t really in pain. I was so thankful to have my mom around to help me out with everything and she was awesome! I don’t want to even think what it would’ve been like without her around.

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It’s been a tough one, but all in all I’ve had a good year. The Lord has taken care of me and my family in so many ways throughout the year. I know He will continue to do so this next year. In my next post(in a few days) check out how I’m going to look forward to change things up a bit.

 

It’s going to be okay…but what if it’s not?

You’ve heard it before, “No matter what happens, it will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.” WRONG! You may think I’m even going to say that sometimes things are not ever going to be okay, and while that is true, that is not the point that I want to focus on. What I want to focus on is this: how often do we take this approach with our spiritual lives? How many times do we think, “If I don’t pray today, it will be okay.” or “If I don’t read my Bible today it will be okay.”? I mean, come on, it’s just one day. Then one more day. Then one more day. And it just keeps going. Next thing I know I haven’t opened my Bible in weeks, or worse, months. I’ve made feeble attempts to say little prayers here and there until I no longer even try. Other things become more important. But hey, everything is going to be okay!

I came to an epiphany almost two weeks ago. I was taking the “It’s going to be okay” approach with everything in my life. It hit me in a moment when I least expected it to, and it kind of startled me. I had been telling myself two things. Either I was telling myself it was going to be okay or I was telling myself that I didn’t care(or didn’t want to worry about it). I told myself these things so often that I began to believe it. I ceased to care, because why care when it’s going to be okay? I ceased to care that my relationship with God wasn’t what it appeared to be, I ceased to care that my relationships weren’t what they needed to be, I ceased to care that I was not the person who I had originally wanted to be. Also, whenever life threw something at me I felt extremely frustrated. I kept asking, “Haven’t I had enough? Can’t I just have it easy for awhile?” While I rarely base any big decision I make on emotion (because it’s fickle and changes so often), I realized in my epiphany that I was lacking in the area of motivation. I didn’t feel motivated to open my Bible and read. I didn’t feel motivated to pray. I didn’t feel motivated to put any effort into my relationship with God, because it’s going to be okay, right? So what do I do? I called my mother. While I was not entirely certain what to expect from this conversation, it was certainly what I needed to hear. She told me something I’ve actually heard her say before, “Just get over it and DO IT!” She also shared a Bible verse with my that I’ve read before, but it took on a whole new significance for me.

“…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

Here’s another passage that she had mentioned to me in another conversation that I remembered after we talked about Philippians.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22)

How do you not quench the Spirit? By giving him nourishment, by reading from the Word of God. The more you nourish the Spirit that dwells in you, the more he can work with your will. The more you read from the Word of God, the more “on fire” you become for God, because God gives you the will to do so through the Spirit. The more you ignore it, the more apathetic you become. You’d think that would be something fairly simple and easy to remember. But we get caught up in the, “It’s going to be okay” way of thinking. I was lying to myself when I was telling myself that no matter what it’s going to be okay. Sometimes things in life are not going to be okay and I need to be aware and accepting of that. Sometimes things are not going to be the way I want them to, but God is in control and He knows best. But in my spiritual life, if I don’t make the effort to do what needs to be done in my relationship with God, it is definitely NOT going to be okay. I have decided to stop lying to myself and start taking responsibility for my actions. I want things in my spiritual life to be more than okay. I want to get to Heaven to be with God. I don’t know about you, but I think that is way better than just okay.