Archive | July 2017

The Peace of God

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:7


Hello, my friends!

I do believe I promised a post explaining where I have been for the last million years and all the lessons I have learned.

Well, ok, not ALL the lessons (because that would mean I would never get this published), but just one.

Or two.

Maybe three.

Just kidding – probably just one!

Anywayyyy,

I have been having one heck of an epic summer, and I hope you have been too! We moved last year to a location known as “a high desert” and I have never lived anywhere more “hot” in my life. Today it was 102° and last week there was a reading of 106°. It’s crazy hot, but it sure makes you drink lots of water, which is a habit I have been trying to acquire for many years.

Cosplay. The dreaded word that’s been ringing in my ears just like that magic bell Polly and Digory rang in Charn (the one that woke the witch and cursed Narnia for hundreds of years)! AHH! Guys, I have failed all of my cosplaying assignments. There is no Elizabeth Swann/Will Turner costume and I have not even seen Dead Men Tell No Tales yet (*emoji with face of utter frustration*). I am learning to play the Piano Guys’ new song Themes from Pirates of the Caribbean, so that covers my multitude of cosplay sins…right 😉 ? I never finished Village Belle and never saw the film (everyone probably knows why), and even my little Spider-girl project for Homecoming I never told you guys about did not happen (but I did see Spider-man: Homecoming and I thought it was really awesome). Grr. I have become so overwhelmed with school, work, and the reason my summer has been out of this world awesome:

Horses.

Riding is all I seem to have done this summer, and it has been the ride of a life time.

I have trailered out to the cross country course a couple of times, went out for my first exhilarating gallop (lol when the tears start flying, Stephanie 😀 ), gave my best shot at a race across an open field,won two red ribbons at my first jumper show, have ridden three different horses, fallen off three times, and got carried away atop a runaway horse (kids, do not try this at home).

After the show, I felt completely worn. My body was incredibly sore, I was so fatigued, and I felt like sleeping for at least three days. When it came time for my next lesson, my eyes kept dropping down, the horse tripped after a grid, and I could not remember the simplest instructions or make those roll back turns. Trying to blink back frustration, I realized what was wrong.

My sickness relapsed.

Those “little” issues I talked about two posts ago (click HERE for that) were back, now they were coming in strong especially after all the hype and pressure of training for the show, the show itself, and other horsey activities. It was taking a toll on my memory which is something that has always scared me, so I did (and still am doing) something drastic.

I decided I would have to hang up my riding boots temporarily and focus on my health, because without good health I wouldn’t ever ride. That was for sure. My family has been so supportive of all my needs, and I constantly find myself thanking them for all their help! I love them so much and thank God for them everyday. Thanks, guys! It was pretty hard trying deciding to do it, and I cried a little. I was having so much fun and there were only two days (roughly) out of the week when I was not sitting atop a horse or at least at the barn.

It’s been totally strange not being at the barn all the time, but if it was not for this little hiatus, I do not think I would have had the ears to hear God or what He was trying to get my attention about. Thus, immediately after my decision was made, I decided it was time to really dig into the Word. I had been already, but now that horses was off of my mind constantly, I could probably have more of “an ear to hear” like those Jesus talked about when He spoke in parables.

Horses was totally from Jesus this summer, and He used them in incredible ways to teach me how to pray, how to seek His face, and how to be conscious of His omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent presence. Although I had become so close to Jesus during my horsey streak, I began to feel disconnected after I decided to take a break. So, I returned to that over-sized lime green moon chair and studied. Sinking and settling deep in that chair with my diffuser exhaling plumes of sweet-smelling lavender, listening to George Winston’s Summer album, and sipping roasted dandelion root tea, I learned the importance of peace.

The peace needed to hear God’s voice.

I felt so calm, so at ease, and so ready to listen. It was so quiet that the quiet was all I could hear. The lavender oils filled my nose and made me sigh and relax my shoulders. The George Winston music made me want to start laughing just from complete joy and love of life. If you want to know what the dandelion tea did, just look up the benefits of dandelion root tea – there’s a lot of benefits.

God had had enough of me just “getting it” and then rushing off. He wanted my time with Him in the mornings to be full of peace and rest. A time to embrace calm before the start of a bustling day. Quitting horses (temporarily, of course) has given me the opportunity to re-focus on the Lord and all that He’s given me. Though He drew me so close to Him during my awesome times at the barn, it was time to focus on everything else He was doing. It was becoming just about horses, but there was so much more about me that I was missing. Piano, writing, this BLOG (you guys are like yasssss), school, my beautiful books (almost done with Emma), my brand spanking new set of GenEd College Courses, our summer cross-country road trip (which I will get to in just a minute), and my awesome sister Ally who plays Nancy Drew PC games with me, cheers me on at my shows, and makes friends with all the local ducks turns thirteen next month:

Jesus has just shown me how to wind down and refocus.

Here’s to the peace of God!

“And He said, ‘My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.'”

– God, from Exodus 33:14

Peace out,

Emily XD

P.S. That cross-country trip I was talking about is happening this FRIDAY!!! I am super excited. We’re going to Chicago, New York, Boston, Connecticut, and other eastern destinations I have never laid eyes on before! I’m super excited, and I created a travel blog called The Toiling Traveler so I can blog about all of my travels! I am going to be taking pictures this trip and blogging about everything – super excited for all the yummy east cost foodies, too! Yippee! Go ahead and check it out, like my first post, or follow the newborn blog and get to hear about my awesome journey! Totally stoked! 🙂

P.P.S. Here’s George Winston’s Living in the Country from his Summer album – take a serious breather and just let the melody sweep you up and away:

P.P.P.S. Here’s some horsey pictures for you guys! Hope you like ’em! I made them look really cool with BeFunky photo editor, lol!

Epic shot of me and Sunny @ the water jump – my sister Ally took the pic! Thanks, Ally!

 

Me and Sunny @ the cross-country course

 

Fun picture of me and Sunny over our widest oxer!

 

Me and Sunny @ the show – 2’6 class – movin’ up there!

 

Me and Sunny (Sun Bun) after a great ride – it looks like she’s smiling LOL!!

 

P.P.P.P.S. Ok, last P.S., but has anyone seen Star Wars VIII Trailer, The Last Jedi? I have, and this is the one cosplay project that will NOT go overlooked – check it out if you have not yet:

Ok, guys! That’s all for now!

Hope to see y’all over at The Toiling Traveler!

Hugs,

Em 🙂

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All God’s Children

Dear Friends,

Since May 18th, 2017, I have been absent from this blog. I have constantly reminded myself to “get around to blogging.” I could just never seem to have the time to sit down and write like I had so longed for.

However, three days ago, I received an email from my Gospel for Asia blog team with a new blogging assignment, and this morning the Lord came a-knocking on my heart. He reminded me of all of you readers, of the countless precious souls of Asia, and the length of my hiatus. Basically and simply, He told me I could not get away with it this time. The hounding was hard – the disobedience would be transgression. Thus, today, at 10:25 p.m., I have come to tell you a story. A true story. Frankly, I think true stories are the best. It is the story of a drunkard, a widow and her son, and the peace they found.


The man cackled and nearly collapsed in drunken stupor. His mother watched him helplessly. She knew it was her doing. She had often encouraged drinking and enjoyed a few drinks with her son, Sahdev, but she, Vahini, never imagined consequences this horrendous. The old woman pitied her alcoholic son, who spent all he had on the poisonous liquid.

Vahini knew she was obligated to put an end to Sahdev’s alcoholic rages, drunken shame, and endless addiction. When an idea finally lit up her mind like fire crackers on a moonlight night, she set right to work seeing it through: her son must have a wife. Surely a wife would force him to put aside his useless and ridiculous past time! Yes, a wife must be the answer. Maliciously concealing her Sahdev’s treacherous addiction, Vahini found a young woman named Tanu who, blind to the truth, married Sahdev.

However, much to Vahini’s horror, Sahdev became a violent man, abused his new wife, and his drinking did not cease as hoped. Instead of defending the helpless bride, Vahini sided with her son and watched in silence as he beat her daily. In the midst of this desolation, Tanu became pregnant. When Tanu gave birth to a son, Aakar, her husband died of alcohol poisoning two months later.

Free of her chains, Tanu hoped to live in precious peace, but no peace came. Vahini became the villain of our story and mercilessly blamed Tanu for the death of her son. Tanu, afraid for her child and her life, resisted and begged to remain in Vahini’s home, yet in response to her helpless plea, she was beaten for simply asking for help. Fleeing desperately, Tanu returned to her mother and father’s home: in the slums (pictured left – photo credit: http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com). Graciously welcoming their daughter and grandson, Tanu’s parents brought a smile to Tanu’s weary face.

Due to India’s cruel and unfair “caste system,” Tanu and her family were classified as “dalit” or “untouchables.” Essentially cursed by their fellow man, it was difficult for Tanu to find a job to help support her family. Acting as any kind-hearted father would towards his little girl, Tanu’s father, Chandrakiran worked as a daily wage laborer, a job someone of his social caste is confined to.

When Aakar became old enough to go to school, Tanu and her parents simply could not pull enough money together to give the child a proper education. Even when enrolling Aakar into free public school, the cost of the supplies crippled their finances. Heartbroken for her little boy, Tanu was desperate.

Seeing one of her neighbors sending her children to school one day, Tanu demanded to know how they managed the costs. The neighbor explained that her children attend Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope Sponsorship program. Feeling a wave of relief for the first time in many days, Tanu enrolled Aakar in the program in June, 2013. For the first time, Aakar received a birthday gift, school supplies, and an education of which many children his age of dreamed (from my resource I learned only forty percent of all people in India can read). Tanu and Aakar (pictured right – photo credit: Gospel for Asia Blog Team) continually receive God’s love, compassion, and redemption everyday from the Bridge of Hope Program. Tanu says that she has the biggest hopes in the world for her son. She believes he will grow to be a kind man who loves others more than himself and will choose a different path than his father, Sadhev. “I can see that my child is improving in his studies and learning good habits through the Bridge of Hope center. I only wish that my child will grow up [to be] a good companion and never ever become addicted to alcohol or any kind of bad habits,” said Tanu after she enrolled her precious son. 

The courage of a mother determined to fight for her son and for her life, the acceptance and love of grandparents who had a heart to give the willingness of sponsor in a different land who brought joy into the life of this beautiful child, and the love and care of our Lord Jesus who never lets go, gave this story a happy ending.  


“But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

– Luke 18:16


I look at the world around me. It chills my bones. It breaks my heart. It makes the hair on the back of my neck prick up.

Then I look at a child. I see the little girl: ribbons in her hair, pigtails flying, and her cheeky grin making her eyes disappear beneath the ear to ear glee. I see the little boy: laughing at a joke that was not even funny, climbing to the top of the playground, and yelling for all to hear. I see the infant giggle for the first time. The gloom in my heart scatters. I see the little girl beg me to come to her tea party. The despair fades. I see the little boy ramming his truck into your shin. The depressing reverie turns to abundant laughter.

When Jesus told the world that the kingdom of God belongs to the children, He told us that the kingdom of God is full of laughter, light, innocence, joy. It is seething with belief, trust, and dependence.

The kingdom of God does not belong to the adolescent or the adult. The kingdom of God is not full of worry, concern, depression, cynicism and independence.

It belongs to the children.

Children like Aakar who need the love and care God designed them to receive.

 I believe that God created children to be bundles of joy that would even out the worry and concern of two grown people.

The children of the world, the beautiful children of the world need us.

Joshie

The little smiles of the world need us.

John John

The minds who believe they can do anything need us.

Tanu and Aakar as a young child

The ones who make us smile and forget everything during tragedy need us.

I love you, Baby D!

The ones who laugh at the simplest things need us.

And from the arguments I just raised, I would say that we need them just as much.

Maybe even more so.

To all the children of the world,

Emily 🙂 – signing off

P.S. You can help a little one in need by sponsoring a child, donating to crisis funds, or whatever means you may feel God is calling you to give via one of the following organizations (these are ones I know of) and many more around the world:

Compassion International

Holt International

Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope

Samaritan’s Purse

P.P.S. I promise that by the end of this week I will hopefully have a post regarding my absence since the beginning of May and the lessons I’ve learned. I hate leaving everyone hanging for two months. I will talk to you soon! Sending you much love 🙂