Sunshine Through Clouds

I'd like to take a minute to give thanks for answered prayers. I'm not the type of person to walk around saying "God is so good!" although I do believe it and think it continually. However, in the past two weeks I have been subjected to so many miracles that I just feel overwhelmed with gratitude towards God for all that I have and that others have been blessed with as well.

First of all, I'd like to thank God for bringing K and her fiance back together (hopefully) again. A few posts ago, I told the story of my friend K who has been separated from her fiance for about a year and a half now as he was denied renewal of his Visa to come back to the U.S. from his home in Nigeria. K has been having a rough time lately. Her mom had a severe wound and had to have a wound vac, then was put in the hospital, she was dealing with trying to get her fiance back to the U.S., all while making a major move and job change. I can't imagine the stress that she has been through. Yesterday I got her call and I could hear the tears in her voice when she said, "He's hopefully coming home!" He had his interview with the Embassy and it went well. If he passes his physical/medical examination in April he will be granted his Visa approximately a week later. I immediately started to tear up myself when she told me this.

I can't imagine her faith, not just in her fiance and her loyalty to him, but her faith in God. Over the past almost 2 years she has battled a variety of emotions, all the while coming back to praising God and knowing that He had a reason for the separation. Tonight Andy and I were driving to Home Depot and I just was hit with gratitude that I was able to take a simple drive with my husband to pick up some paint.

I am so thankful, as well, for my husband. He is so wonderful in so many ways. I can't say enough about this - so instead of trying to, I'll move on.

I'm also thankful for the choice of my MBA program. I am in the second block of my second semester right now. I will be finished in August (wow) and am so excited about what the future holds for me. I did choose a private Christian university for my program, and am very happy with this decision. One of my assignments this week for my Economics class was to describe the strengths and weaknesses of a capitalist society based on biblical principles. Not only was the paper and the discussion in class challenging, it was also refreshing to be able to quote my favorite verses while trying to hear other opinions. I am grateful that I have this freedom, another thing to thank God for.

I am very much thankful for my wonderful friends and family. There are a few that I would give a limb for or even my life. I am thankful that I have a good job and am surrounded by many positive, supportive, loving co-workers.

Take a minute to be thankful for all you have. I need to do this more often.

Psalms 31:19
"Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!"


..Growing Pains..

I guess learning is what life is all about. It just seems that the past few months I have learned so much about myself...good and bad. Maybe this is because I have been faced with challenges that I never thought I would encounter. Maybe it's because, as I get older, I realize what challenges really are...whereas before, I probably would've seen a challenge and mistaken it for something else, or just turned and walked the other way.

I have learned that I am not sensitive.

Don't get me wrong. I am empathetic. I am passionate about what I do and anything else that helps better someone else. I cry during sappy movies or even when I see those animal sheltar commercials on t.v. And I have my emotional moments (please view last post to see irrational womanly behavior). However, I am not, by nature, sensitive.

I grew up in this environment. My family is very loving, very supportive, very non-dramatic, and very un-emotional. We don't hug when we see each other each time. We don't tell each other "I love you" at every gathering or after every phone call. When my dad is grouchy, we tell him to take a chill pill. When mom is over-reacting, we tell her to quit stressing out. When we are angry, we say so. When we are hurt, we say so. But we get over it. We don't fight often, because we just accept that in life you will get hurt by those you love, but they never really meant to hurt you. So we may fight for an hour, or a day. But it never lasts longer than that, because in the end we realize that it's okay to not agree...and it's okay that sometimes we get our feelings hurt.

Don't get me wrong. We love each other very much, and I do show affection sometimes to my family. But you will rarely see my parents holding hands, or hugging, or what-not. I remember the first few times I hung out with my in-laws. I was - and still am - slightly taken aback by how much hugging they do. They hug when you first walk in the door, and then they hug when you say good-bye, and if they forgot something and have to run back inside, they hug you again when they leave the second time.

No, I am not sensitive and I'm not dramatic. I don't get upset or hurt's just not me. Numerous times people have said, "that came out wrong, I hope I didn't hurt your feelings," and I think..."hurt my feelings? Why would that hurt my feelings?" I tend to just say how I feel and move past it. I get very tired of arguing very quickly. I get irritated when people are over-sensitive or over-dramatic, and therefore the past two days have been challenging and irritating to me. However, through it all, the fact that I am not sensitive has really hit me square in the face.

I am not outgoing.

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend. She said, "J (name has been omitted for obvious reasons) sent me a Facebook message the other day, and said 'you are friends with Danya on Facebook?' and I said 'Yes' and she said, 'Why?'" This statement knocked me down at first. I actually remember smiling at this comment. My friend goes on: "She said, 'She's not friendly!'"

Then I realized. No, I'm not friendly. I try to be. I make an effort to be courteous and kind. I try to do nice things for other people. If someone calls me and has a problem, I will go out of my way to help them. If someone has a nutrition question that I really don't know the answer to, I will look it up and write it down and make sure you get the answer you were looking for. But I am not really friendly. I will not smile at a stranger in the hallway usually. I am not overly outgoing unless I have to be. I have known that I am slightly stand 0ff-ish for sometime now, but just recently have I been looking at situations and thinking... "Is it me?"

I am uninhibited.

This is one of the most obvious things about myself that has come about in the past few months. I honestly don't know when to not say something. I mean, I do. But very often I'll get to talking and it just all spills out and then I feel terrible. I will say something to someone and then think, "Why did I just say that?" The other day I thought, "I don't really need to bring that up" and then five minutes and one phone call later, I had said everything I had intended not to say. I don't know why this is. Perhaps it is because I'm a pretty honest person. If something is bothering me, I tend to say that it is bothering me, so I can let it go. For some reason, as long as it has not been let out, I just keep sitting on it and never really get over it; when I tell someone, I am able to forget about it.

I am hard on myself.

This is, really, what it all boils down to. I have always been this way, and probably always will. And there's not much more I can say about that.

Overall...these aren't good qualities...but they are me. I make numerous mistakes. I beg for forgiveness. My conscious eats me alive when I do something I shouldn't have. I push myself to do more than I can. I compare myself to people that are much better people than I am in hopes that one day, I will overcome my faults and be that person that I know I can be.

2 Cor 13:5
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"