Friday, October 28, 2011

Transforming Freedom

"We are not fundamentally free;
external circumstances are not in our hands, they are in God’s hands,
the one thing in which we are free is in our personal relationship to God.
We are not responsible for the circumstances we are in, but we are responsible for the way we allow those circumstances to affect us;
we can either allow them to get on top of us, or we can allow them to transform us into what God wants us to be."

-Oswald Chambers 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Greetings from The Norton Anthology of British Literature


How Fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean
Are thy returns! ev’n as the flowers in spring;
             To which, besides their own demean,
The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring.
                                      Grief melts away
                                      Like snow in May,
             As if there were no such cold thing.

             Who would have thought my shrivel’d heart
Could have recover’d greennesse? It was gone
             Quite under ground; as flowers depart
To see their mother-root, when they have blown;
                                      Where they together
                                      All the hard weather,
             Dead to the world, keep house unknown.

             These are thy wonders, Lord of power,
Killing and quickning, bringing down to hell
             And up to heaven in an houre;
Making a chiming of a passing-bell,
                                      We say amisse,
                                      This or that is:
             Thy word is all, if we could spell.

             O that I once past changing were;
Fast in thy Paradise, where no flower can wither!
             Many a spring I shoot up fair,
Offring at heav’n, growing and groning thither:
                                      Nor doth my flower
                                      Want a spring-showre,
             My sinnes and I joining together;

             But while I grow to a straight line;
Still upwards bent, as if heav’n were mine own,
             Thy anger comes, and I decline:
What frost to that? what pole is not the zone,
                                      Where all things burn,
                                      When thou dost turn,
             And the least frown of thine is shown?

             And now in age I bud again,
After so many deaths I live and write;
             I once more smell the dew and rain,
And relish versing: O my onely light,
                                      It cannot be
                                      That I am he
             On whom thy tempests fell all night.

             These are thy wonders, Lord of love,
To make us see we are but flowers that glide:
             Which when we once can finde and prove,
Thou hast a garden for us, where to bide.
                                      Who would be more,
                                      Swelling through store,
             Forfeit their Paradise by their pride.
-George Herbert, "The Flower" (1633)

LOVE this.
paper writin' time (and I may actually be a little bit excited).

P.S. Life update in pictures: coming soon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Boast of My Tongue

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
Matthew 6:33


"So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."             I Corinthians 9:26-27

"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."
James 4:13-17

"So as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God."
I Peter 4:2

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5:15-16

"Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!"
Psalm 90:17

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,"
Colossians 3:23

"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”"
Luke 10:38-42


This is me telling everyone that I fall so short of obeying these  verses. Anyone who knows me should be able to tell you how miserably I  fail to live out these callings.

This is me praising the Lord for His grace.


"THY MERCY, MY GOD, IS THE THEME OF MY SONG,
THE JOY OF MY HEART, AND THE BOAST OF MY TONGUE"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus


’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus says the Lord!”


Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!


O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!


Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.


I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that He is with me,
Will be with me to the end.

baby Rosemary and her mama
mother-daughter luncheon
may 2010
Mom had me sing this hymn at a mother-daughter luncheon right before I graduated from high school.
Thanks for teaching me how sweet it is to trust in Jesus, Mom.
It makes even more sense now.

"But he knows the way that I take; and when he has tried me, I will come out as gold."
Job 10:23

... It's true, yall. I can see the sparkles.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ballet I

Sweet Sisters,

I've been wanting to write this post for a while. What I'm about to write about is something God has been working through my every vein and hair and pore since I was about nine-years-old. I'm not really sure what I'm about to type, but most of my posts do start out this way, so I suppose that's alright. It's just that... I really want this post to be good. I really want yall not to see me and to see Jesus. Please, look past the bits of pride and pity that my sinfulness is about to leak into this post, and seek to see God's truth through His grace that lives inside me.

I have a very general idea of who my audience is--college girls and moms, mostly--but I'm writing to every female alive. Yall are special to me. God made a big place in my heart for you. I want to love on all of you all day long. No matter who you are, know that I'm saying a prayer for you.

So, here we go, general audience... I want to talk about beauty.

For as long as I've been aware of my body, I've been able to pick out things that are wrong with it. The first time I remember noticing the strange housing of my heart, I was about nine-years-old. I took ballet (which is quite a funny family joke these days). I remember looking in the fold-out mirrors of the church-housed studio during class and comparing my body to those of the other little girls around me, wishing it looked more like hers or being glad it didn't. My first taste of dissatisfaction, my first realization of imperfection.... I quit ballet the next year.

Time went on, and I made it to jr. high school. Zero self-confidence, people. I wore jeans to our field day in the seventh grade (it was ninety degrees outside). Boys didn't talk to me, so heck no was I going to talk to them. I was a teacher's pet. I was uncool. BUT I was sweet and godly, so that's what really counted, right? Yes, I was better than the thirteen-year-olds with boyfriends who wore high heels to class. I knew how to love Jesus. I obeyed. I was good. Everyone says it's the inside that counts, and mine looked way better than theirs... duh.

More time went on. I made it to high school. I found some self-confidence. I actually wore shorts when it was hot outside. Boys actually started talking to me. I actually started talking to them. People liked me. They complimented me. They thought I had cute clothes. They thought I was funny. They liked it when I sang. I suddenly felt a lot better about myself... And on top of all that, my insides STILL looked so much holier than theirs, so naturally, I was the best. I was grown up and godly and well-liked. So, of course, I became beautiful and didn't need to think about struggling with my worth because I totally had that under control with how godly I was... duh.

... And then Rosemary Went to College. And started blogging. And looked at sin in its ugly face. And all it took was freshman year for her to realize that she was still wearing that leotard from "I-wasn't-skinny-enough-to-make-it-to" Ballet I (shout-out to Caroline Jager).

I spent all of junior high and high school layering on anything I could to hide that leotard, and contrary to popular belief, covering-up insecurities is not actually a good idea. So, I've spent the past few months shedding off layer at a time. Off goes too much make-up, clothes for the sake of their price tag, defensive sarcasm, self-gloryfying talent, unfulfilling boys, intentional apathy, and spiritual piety. God didn't make those things. God didn't make the layers, and He didn't make the leotard. GOD MADE ME.

Fearfully and wonderfully, God made ME.

Fearfully and wonderfully, God made YOU.
Just you. Not all your layers. Whatever you layers are. God hates your layers. But God loves YOU.
And He will not turn you away. He is holding you, and if you let Him, He will carefully take your layers off until all you can feel is Him and your naked helplessness laying in the strong and unfailing love of His arms.

God made you. God loves you. Sin ruins you. God saves you.

I will not tell you your body is perfect.
Our outward selves are wasting away. Your body is not perfect. My body is not perfect. Even the Victoria's Secrets models' bodies are not perfect. We ARE flawed, and we need to stop telling each other that we are perfect just the way we are because we're not... and THAT is why we do not find worth in our bodies.

I will not tell you that it's what's inside that counts.
I don't know about you, but my Our insides are filthy and sinful little things. My insides tell me that perfection is achievable. My insides punish me when I don't achieve perfection. My insides compare myself to all the other little girls in my ballet class. My insides cry out to be covered up with layers and layers of sin. My insides are hopeless and messy and mean and disgusting. And yours are, too... and THAT is why we do not find worth inside of ourselves.

So, where do we find worth? Without guilt or pride or inevitable destruction? Is it even out there?
Yes... and before you read the next sentence, I want you to (mentally) go all the way back to your vulnerable-awkward-leotarded child-self. Shed the leotard. Stand helplessly naked before the Almighty Lord who is madly in love with His creation... and once you've done that, forget everything you've heard before, and believe just this:

Your worth is in the Lord.

The Lord is beautiful, and you were made in His image.

Our outer-selves may be wasting away, but out inner-selves are being renewed day by day.
Every other leotard or layer will eventually fail you, but He never will.
His grace is beyond your control. It's outside of you and is moving through all your filthy insides. It is powerful. Embrace it. Rest in it. It is beautiful. It is good.

I don't think I'll ever understand how much He loves me. I don't think I will ever fully wrap my mind around the measures Christ took to give me beauty. But coming from the girl who doesn't like to exercise, can't manage a minute of her time, and will always sinfully look for something wrong with her body: I don't want to be like this.

I want beauty. Real beauty.
Beauty that doesn't fade and beauty that is outside of what I am.
That's what I'm crying for. That's what I'm singing for. That's what I'm living for.
Real beauty that will one day be mine for eternity.

It's not anywhere around here, you guys. It's not in my closet, it's not on my scale. It's not even in the diamond ring we Auburn girls seem to obsess over one day having.

I'm not finding it until God brings me home.

So, let's decide to stop. Shed the layers. Shed the leotards. And sink into His beautiful blood.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hindsight

I like it when God gives my
blind eyes
sight.

#Icanseeclearlynow
#Therainisgone
 #Itsgonnabeabright(bright)(bright)sunshineyday

... Fleet Foxes post coming soon to a computer near you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Here's What's Up

Things I am Currently Liking a Lot:
pumpkin spice lattes
fall-colored manicures
J Crew (duh)
wearing a coat
wishing the jorts I'm wearing were ankle-length
the way my macbook tells me when I make a spelling error (i.e. "jorts")
not sweating when I go outside
telling as many people as I can about Jesus' work in my life
best friends
being single (until God's further notice... I'm no feminist.... Want a sandwich?)
Christmas decorations at Hobby Lobby
Crafts
extending my Alpha Gam family
the city of Birmingham
day-dreaming about other big(ger) cities of the south
today and tomorrow's today
The Avett Brothers
not being a hipster
fighting the hipster movement
realizing that the most hipster person I know is my twelve-year-old sister (and that I approve of her hipsterness because she's a hipster even though it's not cool for seventh-graders at Briarwood to be hipsters... but apparently it is at the high school--"Dubstep 'Dega" was their homecoming theme?)
hating that I sin
blogging instead of studying
loving my life

That list could be much longer. I like a lot of things right now. However, all good things (good lists) must come to an end, and really, I SHOULD be studying (anthem of my life).

So, here we go for the bi-weekly-ish update of Rosemary's life as she goes to college...

Don't worry guys: I'm still happy.
I'm sure you were all thinking that joy of mine was too good to be true, and... well, it almost is. The joy of Christ doesn't make sense if you're looking at it through eyes blinded from the gospel. But I'm not. So, it's making perfect sense to me. I have a Savior, and I'm watching him turn every thorn of my life into a garden of roses. By His grace alone, I have every reason and right to be joyful.

I had a mini-emotional breakdown this past Thursday while I was on the phone with Mom. This was partly due to an extreme deprivation of much needed sleep, and partly due to the fact that school has been extremely overwhelming, and I've yet to adjust to my schedule this semester. I am was taking seventeen hours, and under normal circumstances, I could probably handle that. However, until I started talking to Mom, I didn't really realize that my stress level and the condition of my heart haven't exactly been "under normal circumstances" for the past year of my life. I came to the humbling realization that, even though life is much better than it was a little while ago, I'm just not going to be able to juggle seventeen hours this semester. So, I dropped my four elective hours (Elementary Italian I), and admitted to myself that for about the 400th time this week that I'm still a mess of a little college girl and will be the whole time I'm here (and then I'll be a messy little college graduate).... I now have no (as in ZERO) Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes, and by the grace of God, I'll start sleeping a lot more, running a lot more, studying a lot more, and spending a lot, lot more time with Jesus and my introverted self.

I'm in weird spot right now, but it's a good spot. Let's face it: we all just really, really need Jesus. 

I feel like I've JUST crossed the finish line of a marathon**. The worst is over, and the worst was bad, but the important part is that it's over. I did it. I can finally catch my breath. I may have a pulled muscle here and there. I may be sore for weeks. I may have to start seeing a chiropractor... but everyday, it gets better, and-- It's over!... and the only way I finished was through the wonderful, loving, unchanging, and faithful hand of God carrying me all the way through.
To God be the glory. Great things He has done.

I don't care how cliche (how do I put the accent above the e in that word?) it sounds, but I mean it when I say: God has made me into a new person, and I love that. I love Him.

I could continue to elaborate. And praise Him. And tell you more details of my life as a sophomore at the great university on the plains, but Barnes & Noble is about to close. And I was supposed to be studying all this time anyways....

It's whatever. I never regret blogging.

So, I'll leave you with this:
"This is what the LORD says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise."
Isaiah 43:16-21
Happy fall, yall!


**I've realized that I process a lot of my spiritual growth through cheesy-analogies. #sorryImnotsorry