Monday, February 27, 2012

new post...OVER THERE!

I posted on the Africa trip blog, Burundi Bound!
I am slightly too busy to post anything here.

9 DAYS!
http://burundibound.blogspot.com

Sunday, February 26, 2012

NCSU!!

I'm in an excited tizzy.

Not only do I have 10 days until I leave for Africa, but I just found out that I was accepted to North Carolina State University!
It's really validating to get into college. I feel this great euphoria and excitement.
I'm going to (hopefully) be a nutrition science major. 

I'm afraid that as I interact with people tonight, I'm going to come off as a teensy bit insane.

Because, you see, I am MAJORLY EXCITED.  I have wanted to go to NC state since I could watch sports and wear a cheerleading uniform.

Cloud 9 is where I'm at.

Booyah! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Heartsong

"Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks"

Have you ever had a song of joy overtake you? You reach a moment where you are full-to-overflowing with God's goodness and the realization of His vast blessing and love. You get to the point where you want to do nothing but praise Him. You feel like you can just SEE.
The moments like that are so precious to me. The moments of clarity and focus are amazing.

But then there are the days when you feel far away. You don't have that same spiritual high.
For a while, I thought that, as a child of God, that I should always be exuberant and full of excitement over God's blessing. I thought that I should always hear from Him, and that I should always feel so close to His throne.

Not true. There comes times when it feels like God is silent. There comes times when one feels directionless and unsure. There comes times when there is... fog.

I think the times of "silence" can come from sin or breakage of fellowship with God, for sure, but I think that they can also be times of testing: trust God implicitly, or go ahead with my own plans?

I had a time of not hearing from God. I don't know if you have been through that, but when you are seeking His direction, and the options seem foggy, it's tough.

This winter, I really wanted to serve God overseas in the spring semester. I feel like the experience would majorly grow me and shape me into a better servant.
I prayed that a door would open, and I knocked on some doors.

There were moments when I thought I could see the light, and I felt like God was showing the way.

When I had emailed Melli Johnson in Burundi, I felt very very strongly that Africa was the right direction. I can't really explain it, (and while I get annoyed when people say that they "just knew"), I have to say that I just knew that was where God wanted me. It was as if there was a magnetic pull. If there had been a "where-I-feel-drawn detector", and I waved it over the earth, it would have gone bezerk when I passed over Burundi.

Well, over Christmas break, some people and circumstances made me look at the realities of travel to Africa. They reminded me of the danger, the turmoil, the fact that I'm a super-white girl...

I had a few other discouragements. I was disappointed that the door I had felt so sure of was closing.
I trusted that God knew what was best and prayed for guidance. I felt like my direction was foggy.

But it wasn't a closed door!!
Not really. 

It was a lesson in trusting.

After prayer, and seeking, and giving it all up to God, after a month, I finally knew the answer.

The fog was lifted and I KNEW that Africa was where I was called.

Now that I am preparing, I remind myself that it is NOT about me. It is NOT about anything I can bring to the table at all.

It is all about God and how He can use me. I want to be utterly and irrevocably His servant. I want to love deeply and remember that everything I do is for the sake of Christ. I am but clay in His hands. He protects, prepares, and provides.

I forget so easily what Jesus has done for me to make me his own. I forget that sin isn't something to be glossed over.

I want the overflow of my heart to show where my true love lies.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

long day? yes.

Hey lovely followers!

I have posted on my new blog, Burundi Bound!
(http://burundibound.blogspot.com)
Interesting things have happened, so you should go check it out. :)
******************
I'm feeling lazy and tired. You see, I have just worked a long day.
I was called in to work (I wasn't planning on it). I was dozing in bed at 8:00 this morning, when I got a call from a poor sick coworker.
I agreed to work for her, and the adventure of a day began.
Thank goodness I had my coffee.
My workday started at 10 am.
It ended at 9:45 pm.
I did get a 2 hour break, because I was double-shifting it. This is one of the longest workdays (as an hourly employee) that I've had.
It was a marathon. Today was soo busy! But I do enjoy my job, complain as I might. And it really isn't that difficult. It's just somehow emotionally draining.
The only other place I could think of as being the longest workday ever would be camp.
Camp doesn't really count as a super long workday though, because it's fun and silly. Except for the time when we were cleaning bathrooms at midnight... good times.

Aside from that, I so love camp.

...my thoughts are getting less and less coherent.
So, go look at my other blog! And follow it!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

all things for my good

I'm working on a blog for updates on my upcoming trip!
I'll still have this blog here for personal anecdotes and ramblings and... whatever it is that I do on here. But I know that not everyone wants to scroll through the silliness.

The URL for the update/prayer request site is http://burundibound.blogspot.com/ 

.....
Have you ever had a supernaturally good day?
Yesterday was for me.
It sounds almost crazy, but there were so many "coincidences" that just worked together perfectly, it was awesome.

It was the kind of day that makes you want to just shout out a "Hallelujah!"


God works all things out for the good of those who love Him, and yesterday it was so evident

Someone must have been praying for me.

Romans 8:28 comes to mind.

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

happy candy day!

Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually reads this.
I mean, it's just one girl's silly blog, so it's not a big deal.

But sometimes, I get this big influx of page-views, and....
nothing.

No comments, no likes, nothing.
Talk about a confidence-boost. Maybe it's just the robot computers scrolling through the pages.

(and noo, it's not just me viewing my own blog repeatedly. I've checked. haha, that would be so silly and sad.)

Anyways, enough whining.

Life goes on, and today is a great day! Know why?

IT IS CANDY ON SALE DAY. It happens twice a year. The day after Halloween and the day after Valentines. Both are good days to go shopping.

Yesterday, single people everywhere were whining about not having someone to buy them heart-themed, overpriced gifts.

I can only imagine their thinking:

But I want a giant white teddy bear! What would I do with it? No idea. But I want onnnne!  

Today all people can rejoice together and celebrate the wonderfulness that is clearance.

 Clearance brings people together.
Usually it's a good thing.
Unless there's only one bag of chocolate left...then things don't work out so well.

Monday, February 13, 2012

still sick

Over a week of sickness.
Erg.
In other news, I am really excited.
Africa is happening!
I'm looking at plane fares and hoping to leave the first week in March.
I've also written a newsletter! Yaaay! I am going to email it out, and if you'd like to get it, do email me. [contactkenziebeth@blogspot.com]

Quite exciting. All of this is becoming a very very very real prospect. God is good.

 I'm still praying that everything works out and that the monetary situation comes together.

I can't wait to travel, and I can't wait to be better. In the meantime... I feel like just sleeping and sleeping. I have a suspicion that the vaccines are contributing to this feeling...but if I don't ever get the real legit sicknesses that I'm vaccinated against, this will be a major payoff.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

writing...

I've been writing a chatty newsletter.
Writing a support letter feels tricky.
Honestly, it does.


I dunno, it still just feels slightly awkward to ask for money.

I have been praying that the right words will come out as I type a sum-up of the current happenings of my life. I am laying my needs out there, so that people who feel led can give or pray. Or both.

Prayers are soo important.

The more prayer support I have, the better.
I am so thankful for the amazing people who have been encouraging me.

I have an EXCITING update!

If you feel led to donate and for your gift to be tax-deductible, this is now a possibility!

(After finishing my taxes/seeing my parents do theirs, I realize how valuable tax deductions are. Majorly!)

If you would feel like supporting me, you can now mail a check to my church. You can make it out to the church, and just specify that it's for Makenzie's Burundi trip.
You'll get a nice little receipt for next year's taxes.

How cool!
For more details, you can shoot me an email.

Also, Psalm 27 is an amazing chapter. I was reading it yesterday, and wow!

Psalm 27

Of David. 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
   whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
   of whom shall I be afraid?
 2 When the wicked advance against me
   to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
   who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
   my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
   even then I will be confident.
 4 One thing I ask from the LORD,
   this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
   all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
   and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
   he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
   and set me high upon a rock.
 6 Then my head will be exalted
   above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
   I will sing and make music to the LORD.
 7 Hear my voice when I call, LORD;
   be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
   Your face, LORD, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
   do not turn your servant away in anger;
   you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
   God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
   the LORD will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, LORD;
   lead me in a straight path
   because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
   for false witnesses rise up against me,
   spouting malicious accusations.
 13 I remain confident of this:
   I will see the goodness of the LORD
   in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
   be strong and take heart
   and wait for the LORD.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

progress!

"Most people go to Europe or the Caribbean or someplace nice for their first out-of-country experience. Honey, I think you missed the memo." 
           -nurse giving me shots

Progress has been made!
I am excited, because I now have my yellow card. I know how people wanting a green card feel. Kinda.

I have all of the shots and immunizations I need for travel to Africa (well, I do have some typhoid pills to take after I finish up this antibiotic treatment for my strep throat. It's crazy how everything hits all at once, isn't it?)
So I have amoxacillin in my system from the strep, and I ended up getting three shots for travel.
I really don't like needles. Or the thought of shots.
Some people are creepy and like watching the needle go into their body.  
NOT ME. Ew, ew, ew!
*shudder*
So I feel loopy today. But that's okay.
I am so thankful for modern medicine.


 Today started out kinda crummy. (Locked outside in PJ's in the cold? Yep...)
But then I remembered, God has got this. And he is majorly showering me with blessings I take for granted.
Like health, beautiful weather, family, and people who care about me. 
Taking time to notice those little blessings totally changes ones outlook.

Today is going to be awesome. Because God is in control, and I am not.

Monday, February 06, 2012

SUPERBOWWWLLLLLL

So... what's new for me?
Not much.
I've been sick [again].
Fun stuff!
And this kind of sick isn't the kind that lets me shuffle around the world. Because I'm contagious, and it would be inconsiderate to share the germs.
On Friday, I woke up with a fever and dull achy-ness. I rested, and hoped it would go away. It didn't. I felt like...well, there are no words. I do know that I was stubborn and insisted on going to eat thai food. I love thai food, and no fever is going to stand in my way. I thought maybe I was just making the sickness up.
On Saturday, it was worse. Despite the fact that I could barley shuffle out of bed, I could almost convince myself that it was all in my head. I could be a trooper, I had work to do!
Thank goodness, my parents still know best.
They took me to the doctor. I told my dad that I could sleep it off, but he wanted a strep test done, just to be sure.
When I went to the doctor, he acted like I wasn't really sick at first. He took my temperature, which was around 100.7 (low-grade for normal people, a higher fever for me. See, I run a low temperature naturally. I think it's genetic, but my "normal body temperature" is about 97.6, a degree lower than the average. It's weird, but it's normal.) he looked at my throat and told me that since my dad wanted it, they would do the test.
I'm pretty sure he thought I was just a girl with low pain tolerance.
He was wrong. He cam back in and told me that I did have strep. He was so much nicer.
He prescribed three different types of pills and told me to rest.
Rest I did. I slept for hours and hours. I ate some dinner, and then slept all night.
Crazy.
Yesterday, I rested all day too. I woke up this morning feeling tired.
But I've had enough sickness, and it's time to be a grown up. I need to be healthy now.

So I am going to be.

Part of me would love to take it easy again today, but that's not happening.


Yesterday, as pretty much every american knows, was the super bowl, or Everyone-pretends-they-like-football-day.

I didn't really care about the outcome until I remembered that jerk Tom Brady played for the Patriots [boo!] and that Kareem McKenzie (name twin!) played for the Giants.
Then I was a Giants girl.

It was a nail-biter finish.

I watched the commercials, laughed a bit with a friend (I have a good idea for a blog post now! Inspired.), and was blown away by OK GO's chevy ad.
Favorite. Ad. Ever.
At. Least. For. This. Year.

Also, it's a good song, so, win-win.
This is also a practical application of physics!

Finally, I am seeing the light when it comes to that subject.

Watch it:


So, yep. My weekend: get sick, sleep, watch the superbowl, sleep.
Now off to be a productive adult!
*sigh*

Ooh, what was YOUR favorite ad? Do tell.
(you can see all of them on hulu's adzone. Sweet)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

on (metaphorical) monkeys and apes

Admittedly, I am like this song:

(I'm sorry you have to pause the playlist in the sidebar to hear this properly...I was feeling like my blog needed some ambiance music, so the return of the autoplay has come.)




When I think about things, I tend to see them as either monkeys or apes. 
Things either are, or they are not, down to the little details. I guess you'd call it fundamental of sorts.

If it has a tail, it's a monkey. If it doesn't have a tail, then it's an ape. Duhh!

In my mind, I think that there is no unknown space. But like Larry, I eventually make a fool of myself in my attempts to classify everything.

God has been working on my extremist way of thinking. 

I am learning that not everything is so black and white. 

Within the body of Christ, there is diversity, and that is awesome
I mean, of course there are still definite things that are no-nos, but as Galatians 5:1 says:
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

In a Christian's life, there are disputable issues that can be handled one way or another without being considered "wrong". 
I struggle with the attitude of, "such-and-such is right, therefore you are wrong, so buckle up and let's change."  Judging others is one of my major flaws I work on daily.

It's a terrible attitude to have, I know. 

I think it comes with being an oldest child, the one who feels like they know everything [or need to know everything...] 

(I'm sure, if you are a younger sibling, you know how oldest siblings are all too well. If you're like me, an oldest child, and you're still in denial, you are wrong. It's true. You know it deep down that you want to be always right. It's normal, never fear.)

The big lesson I am learning: It's not about the legalism

My faith isn't dependent on whether or not I "believe" in dating, which, as you may know, is a pretty hot button issue.

My faith doesn't rely on the fact that we have meetings on Sunday at 9:30 and 11.

It doesn't matter if I believe that it's okay for men to not wear suits on Sunday morning. 

It doesn't matter if I believe that drums and guitars have a place in church. Or if I believe that it's okay to raise hands during worship. 

It doesn't matter if I think it's bad to listen to secular music.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

All of that stuff? It's really irrelevant. 

It doesn't determine if you're a monkey or an ape. 

In Romans 14, Paul totally backs me up (the whole chapter is amazing and convicting, but I'll just post bits of it): 

"     ... One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.  For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

It is written:
   “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
   every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

  So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
  Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 
...For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
  Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.
 ...So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin."

There is only one black and white to be concerned about.

That last sentence there: everything that does not come from faith is sin. 


Woah.

Think about that.
If my focus shifts from what Paul calls, "disputable matters", and rather focuses on what really matters, I don't have to wonder if something is good or not. I don't have to get bogged down in the minutia. 

Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. 

Having a relationship with God and striving to please Him is all that truly matters. I'm not supposed to compare myself to others and judge them for their perceived "weakness". My goal is instead to always act in faith. When I read that, I felt a strong conviction. I need to be so sold out on Christ that every action, every move I make, is in Him. I need to readjust my focus. 


Life isn't about going to college, getting a job, being successful. 
Life isn't about finding a special someone, a love of my life.
Life isn't about how popular and well-liked I become. 

All of those things are nice, and frosting on the cake. 

But they are not what's important. 

Life is about serving God and being a part of His work. 
Life is about growing in my relationship to Him, knowing Him better. 
Life is about looking ahead towards the eternity of happiness, of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

That's definitely something to work on.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

accountability?


The past week has been full of rushing.
Here there everywhere, getting as much as possible done...

Today, I have nothing set on my schedule.

Well, almost nothing.
I have a long list of things I would very muchly like to get accomplished. Instead, I am sitting here typing on my blog. It seems like as one gets older, the things that need to get accomplished gets longer too. Sometimes it feels like an insurmountable thing. I have many aspirations. Making myself do the things that must be done is hard.


Today, my body just wants to chill. I want to be lazy.
As you might have seen yesterday, I felt sick. No excuse, I knowww.


I thought it was the food I ate, but as the day progressed, I still felt sick and so tired.

...I think it's just exhaustion.

ah, I love relaxing. But enough is enough. I want to be accomplished.

I want to look back on the day and be impressed at my gutzpah to make things happen. I've been semi productive today. 

Not good enough.


I did reorganize a few things in my room. I have a TON of makeup. It is INSANE. I took time today to actually organize it.
Seriously! look at how many chapsticks I have. This doesn't even include my lip glosses. Apparently, I have a fetish of sorts. After I took this, I found a few more sticks in my drawer.
...I could be a school nurse.




I also have many, many books.
Now that I have a kindle, I wish that I could just transfer all of those books over to digital format. I would have sooo much more space! Sadly, one has to actually buy the books one wants digitally, and that gets pricey. Lamesauce. I feel like if I've bought the books once, I shouldn't have to buy them again.


I also have many many other things that just don't like to be organized. I'm too stinking blessed, that's all.  I could just blame the disorder all on entropy. But I'm not a fatalist, thank goodness.


Anywho, I think that if I post online, it will motivate me.

I am going to seriously do some stuff, okay? Just wait, I'll let you know how it goes. Hold me accountable, blog!

Also, if you haven't realized it yet, I am immature. As I get older, I realize how not-grown-up I am. I have sooo much to learn.


Africa is happening soon! Eeeeeeeek! SO EXCITING. Please keep praying, or please pray for me, if you think of it.
I was reminded of Mark 11:23:
"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

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