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Saturday, December 28, 2013

this is exactly the article I needed to read

If we are going to be honest here, I think we all want to "find" someone to share our lives with. Most of us want to be married someday. We all seem to be "waiting" for something. I've read a few articles here and there about this topic, and I'm happy to say that this morning I read the best one yet.

Even if you aren't single- this is a great read.

http://convergemagazine.com/single-waiting-9283/

Monday, December 23, 2013

Home for the Holidays

Oh it's a strange feeling.

Just the other week I was so excited to leave school. But was I really? Maybe ready to be done with finals but not leave my friends. It all happened so fast. The last football game of the season, Christmas parties and gift exchanges, studying for hours on end, seemed to all run into each other, and then before I knew it- we were all packing up our things and didn't even get to have one last meal together.


So then I packed up what seemed like everything in my room, to come home for an entire month. AN ENTIRE MONTH. Going from being around people 24/7 to being home alone with almost nothing to do can't be healthy. It's also really weird being told what to do by my parents and having them always knowing what I'm doing and where I'm going. Feels like I've suddenly been cut off from all freedom I'd just gained in the past four months. And with the days feeling like they've been ending before I can even get anything done has really put me in a funk. Also, since I've moved 45 minutes away from all of my friends from home- it really has been a challenge to feel like I'm at "home."

And Christmas- does it really even feel like Christmas this year? With all the stress of buying things for friends and family, the only thing I feel like I'm about to be celebrating is the end of this shopping madness. But you know, in the midst of all this chaos it's my first time learning about Advent ( I've been reading Good News of Great Joy by John Piper) -- what Christmas is all about- Jesus coming to be amongst us and to save us. It's the time leading up to the first day of the greatest love story ever. It has been so amazing to see Christmas for what it truly is. Now Christmas itself is a gift to me, from my creator, my Father, and my savior. And I am so unworthy of it.


But the Lord didn't just come for those who already believed, he came for you, and for me, and for every one. He came to save us from our emptiness and brokeness, & to make us whole and give us a purpose. & knowing all of this I can see coming home from college in a new light. It is time for rest from all the stress of school work, to really spend time with the Lord, and to celebrate his willingness to come down from glorious Heaven just to be with us & show us the way in this broken world.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Overwhelmed

The title of this post is a little misleading.

I mean overwhelmed in a good way, not the bad, stressed out kind.

On Saturday I got the opportunity to go to a Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors concert with one of my new best friends, Carly. I was so excited because the first time I had ever heard Drew and Ellie Holcomb sing was the first time I went to a Young Life camp; the first time I had ever heard about who Jesus was. That was only about three years ago.

On January 29th 2011, Ellie Holcomb sang "The Valley" in front of over 200 high schoolers, and I remember those 2-3 minutes so clearly. I was amazed by the fact that I wasn't the only one who felt like they were dying on the inside. I wasn't the only one who felt a void, a certain emptiness, that I later realized, could only be filled with God and only God.

Carly and I made the trip to the concert where we had a little trouble getting around the city and trying to find parking because of all of the construction going on (Siri doesn't know how to work well around closed roads). Our excitement was quickly starting to die down until we finally found parking. When we finally made it to the endless line, I ran into one of my Young Life leaders that I hadn't seen in months. As we were waiting to get in, I pulled out my phone to look at Instagram. I saw a picture of two of my work crew friends and their friends from their college. They were waiting in line for the concert as well (I found out they were going to the concert a couple hours before). I showed Carly the picture and pointed out two girl in the group and said "these two friends from work crew," and she freaked out and said: "Wait, they're with my friends from high school!! They're know them!!" At that point we were a little freaked out about how crazy it was that our friends are friends and how God connected all of us. But at the same time, it was the greatest feeling in the world to know how perfectly God plans our lives.



We went into the concert where I saw some other friends I know from high school. So great to run into friends I don't get to see often! Since mine and Carly's friends were already together, we didn't even have to split up to go see them. Anyway, the concert was amazing and afterwards we went on top of a parking garage with our friends and looked out at the skyline of the city. It was truly a magical night.



Carly and I spent the ride home talking to each other about the way that the Lord has shaped our lives and how excited we were about what was to come. When Carly met one of my leaders before going into the concert that night, she realized that she had met her before when she was a freshman in high school. (My leader used to lead at her high school). It blows my mind that Carly, who I just met in college, met my Young Life leader before I met my Young Life leader, and now Carly and I are friends. It gives me chills just thinking about how perfectly God places people in our lives. This might seem like a long rant about how great my night was, but I do have a point.



When I said "overwhelmed" I meant I am OVERWHELMED with God's love for me. Before going to Young Life camp and before spending time with a Young Life leader, I was dying. I was dying to find a purpose to my life, I was dying to feel noticed and wanted. When I heard about what Jesus did on the cross for me, that changed my life. The fact that He took my place- the fact that Jesus who was perfect, took my place on the cross for all the wrong I've done and will ever do- blew my mind. At that moment I knew I had something to live for. I live for the creator of the Universe because I realize that my life is not about me. It is about glorifying God, who created me to have a relationship with Him. I'm not dying anymore. I wake up with a purpose. A purpose to give my life away every day, and love others the same way that He loves me.





Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Present

Today I am going to be present.

One of the thoughts I had when I woke up this morning was "I wish I could wake up in the morning and not have the desire to immediately check all social media." Why do I do that? Why do I need to know exactly what is going on in everyone's life at every second? I can't even walk to class without checking Twitter or Instagram. So I ask myself, how can I be more present?

Well, first of all. I can't do it on my own. I can't tell myself everyday "be more present." Because it just doesn't work that way. I have to ask God for the strength to do it. The other day, my pastor said "When you're with people ask yourself 'How can I be a blessing to these people?'" I feel like I'm always so consumed in myself or how many likes I'm getting on Instagram. Instead I should be concerned about how I can serve people and give my life away for God. I could spend my time walking to class and actually smiling at people instead of starring down at my phone. After all, they have souls too. When I'm eating a meal with wonderful friends... that is such a blessing! But I still can't stop being a slave to my phone. Most people don't get to eat with friends or family, and I do But I'm still constantly trying to be somewhere else or see what someone else is doing.



My life and purpose is about pouring into people and showing them Jesus every day. I don't have to go on a mission trip or be in a church to do any of this. This simply happens by loving people and being present. Showing people that they are important to me by listening... and being present. This isn't going to change instantly, it's going to take time just like anything else. I have to pray about it daily and completely surrender it to God, and he will provide.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

// Purpose



Today I find myself being completely grateful and in awe of God's love for me. The Lord prepared today for me and put so much thought into it even before I was born. Every day of my life is a part of the journey he has laid out for me, and every day I become more aware that I have no control over it.

A few weeks ago in one of my classes (which is basically an "Intro to College" class that all freshmen are required to take), my professor gave us a homework assignment that required us to write down five goals we want to accomplish within the next 10 years. There were maybe one or two things I had in mind such as "have a family" or "travel" but then I thought to myself, "yes those would be nice things... but what I really want to accomplish is what God has planned for me. So how can I write those down if I don't even know what that is?" The next assignment had us take those goals and implement them in writing our "mission statement." Our textbook said that this would help us create our "purpose in life." To me this was a little silly. Here I am, reading a textbook telling me that I need to write down the plans I have for my future, to ultimately write down my purpose in life.

Being a girl that follows Jesus, I learned about my purpose when I first gave my life to Christ. Jesus says that my purpose in life is to follow Him, love Him, and love others. So when I did my homework assignment that night I wrote about what Jesus says my purpose is. The next day in class we were required to read our mission statements aloud for the whole class to hear. When it was almost my turn I was getting a little nervous because every one else's mission statements were about their careers and how "successful" they wanted to be. But why was I so nervous? Because I was going to be different and talk about my faith? Then I reminded myself that God sometimes calls us to be uncomfortable in situations when it comes to sharing our faith; but we must boldly speak truth.

Anyway, when it was finally my turn to share I said something along the lines of "My purpose in life is to serve those around me by giving my life away every day and loving others well." My professor looked at me like I was insane and there was an uneasy feeling in the room. And the beautiful thing is: I had never felt so honest in my life. She then said "Okay, but what is your purpose? What do you want to do with your life?" I smiled and said "This is it. This is what my purpose is." We then awkwardly moved on to the next person.
                                               
I'm not saying that it's bad to have long-term goals or career aspirations- that's great! But for me, I really don't know what the future is going to hold. I just know that I have to be present. I have to live every moment for my Creator, simply because my life isn't about me. It's all about Him and giving him all the glory, day after day. I used to be scared. Always worried about what I was going to be when I "grew up." Where I would live, who I would marry. But I'm not afraid anymore because I leave it up to the Lord. I trust that God will provide for me no matter where I go in life, and that gives me the courage to live in the present. How can I know where I will be in 10 years if I don't even know what I'm going to wear tomorrow? God is bigger than it all. I am truly blessed to be free of the burden of constantly having to worry about the future and to be able to live today fully for Him.