this won't take long, and it's something that's been on my heart lately (sorry, Kara, for the whole more-than-one-a-day thing).
i just want to encourage you not to be afraid to ask God for what you want. i'm not talking about naming it and claiming it. i'm talking about the desires of your heart, and the fact that in the Bible it clearly says that the Lord will give you the desires of your heart. you just have to draw close to Him. not because He's giving us a condition, testing our motives, or making a deal with us, BUT because we can't really know the true desires of our heart unless we ARE close to Him. He always wants to bless us, but sometimes we miss the blessing because it's not what we think it should be. i have been learning so much lately about the love of God, and finally believe that He does love me just the way i am. i wasted a lot of time trying to figure out who God wanted me to be, instead of realizing that He just wants me the way i am. He made me like this, and He loves me like this. the more i believe that, the closer i feel to Him, and the more aware i am of the desires He's given me. and if He gave me these desires, then how can i not ask Him for them? And why would He not lovingly and willingly give them to me? it's so simple. just like the gospel (which i also tried to complicate, but that's another story). God doesn't try to trick us and make things hard on us. If it's seems difficult, it's because we make it that way; or at least that's been my experience.
i recently asked God for something that i finally got tired of trying to figure out on my own. and i am one stubborn girl...just ask my parents. and you know what happened? He gave it to me. almost immediately. not because i did anything to deserve it. the truth is, i stopped trying to do the right things to get what i wanted and just said "God, have your way. Do what you want. I trust you." not only did He bless me, but He went out of His way (if that's possible for God, hah!) to make sure i knew it was from Him. and believe me, i know...there's no way i could have done this on my own. He gave me more than i ever could have dreamed of asking for. AND he showed me what i really wanted...what i had no clue i wanted until He gave it to me. God's way is so much better. He loves us like crazy, and is just waiting for opportunities to blow us out of the water with His love. He also gave me peace. a very wise woman (thank you Sarah Turner!) once told me that the best way to follow God's plan for your life is to follow the peace in your heart. amazing advice and so true. it's so good to walk in peace and love...which brings about great happiness. maybe the hippies really were on to something....kidding!