Wednesday, December 22, 2010
"What was your life like before you accepted Christ?"
I don't have one of those really dramatic, brings-tears-to-your-eyes, gives-you-goosebumps kind of stories. I actually grew up in the church - one of those who is at every Sunday school, VBS, youth group, church camp, on and on.
For so many, long years... I claimed to be Christian and my only proof was my church attendance.
Nothing miraculous happened, besides the fact that the Lord kept trying to grab my attention for about three years (and probably longer than that). I don't remember the exact day, but I do remember the month, the summer and the situation. I remember realizing if I was going to stand up for myself, what was I standing on?
Christianity is so many different things, some of which have gotten twisted and people miss. I missed one of those things for so long - a relationship. It makes so much sense that marriage is supposed to reflect Christ and the church. You can't get married without a real, sacrifical, all-or-nothing relationship. God wants a relationship with His people so badly, so badly that He'll even go as far as to put things in front of you to make you turn around... to Him. He did it to me.
"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." - Matthew 9:36
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
SO much happened this semester.
I lived completely by myself for the first time, which was a learning and growing process. Lots of ups and downs, but enjoyable for the most part. I went to the International Balloon Festival - which involved going to Glorieta for one night. I lost some friends, but made new ones. I got a new job, that I love. I bought a ticket for Passion. I bought my first two plane tickets for flights that I'll fly by myself. I cooked a Thanksgiving dinner with two other people. I fed the homeless. I grew. I sang. I rejoiced. I cried. I loved.
There have been many things the Lord has taught me the last few months. But, there have been two things He's been showing me almost everyday.
Love and grace.
Christ died for me, even when He knew I would mess up time after time.
And time after time, people in my life do the same thing. I can either hold a grudge and get angry, or I can choose to love them anyways. Sometimes this is a real struggle, sometimes I completely fail at it. I just know that I have never been so aware of His love, and there's nothing to do besides pour it out to others; I'm compelled by the love of Christ.
Love is something beautiful... pure, genuine love. it's beautiful.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I love anything rustic, antique or old-fashioned. (okay, except black and white movies.) But, old barns, run-down houses, antique trucks, or even...
inside an old suitcase! :)
I'm in love.
The way I have it set up in my living room is basically how it looks in the second picture (except different location). I can't decide if I want to decorate it somehow or just leave it alone. I think right now I love it too much to do anything with it :)
Sunday, December 5, 2010
In all things, big and small.
I heard awhile back that if you pray for something - in the fruit of the Spirit sense - that the Lord won't necessarily give you that characteristic, but rather, place you in a situation that forces you to practice it. Like, praying for patience... and then placing you in multiple situations that require patience. (yes, I'm pointing the finger at myself.)
As my impatience rose tonight, I just started praying against it.. and immediately, the Lord put a verse into my mind. "Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him."
I want a patient, gentle spirit before Him while He teaches and transforms me, preparing and equipping me for whatever is next.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
or to be driving down the road, walking to class, etc... and just feel like you're being hugged?
or to just want to giggle at the most random times?
Sometimes, I feel like I might explode with laughter and excitement. I want to go for a run to just get the giggles and antsy feelings out of me, not to escape from life.
I haven't been in this place, in a long, long time. And if I'm being real honest, probably never. I remember at the beginning of this semester, writing about the joy of the Lord - and what that feels like, and that what I thought it was before was so small in comparison.
That comparison has grown. I literally have fallen asleep smiling.
The other day, my professor said a profound statement: happiness is fleeting. I just wanted to raise my hand and say, but joy is constant.
I started writing this blog, and then thought about how unhappy I was at this time last year - so I went back and read some old blogs. Ironically, I wrote a blog on this very day, about one hour from right now. "God with us" - how beautiful.
It is the end of semester, the time when thousands of students across the country are frazzled, lacking sleep, and going crazy. Coffee shops probably have booming business. I am not (that) stressed. Yeah, I have things to do. But, I think sometimes as college students we make this time stressful - we let life get us down. Unless, we let the peace of Christ rule our hearts.
I was telling a friend just yesterday about my low level of stress, and that I know it is only because of the Lord, I repeat - only.
It was interesting this past weekend, that the sermon at our church was about having more peace and being more thankful. Our God is not stressed, He's got everything under control. He is also not a God of stress - He's a God of peace.
Nor does the Bible ever mention a change of circumstances that allowed peace. Peace and joy are non-circumstantial. We have to find the awesome in every situation. And like bowling, the best things happen when you let go.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I started out the week thinking I would be doing homework for five days straight, maybe hang out with one or two people, and that my Thanksgiving meal would consist of a turkey sandwich. But, then that changed. A friend of mine invited me to have Thanksgiving with them (which we moved to my apartment).
Tuesday night, we went shopping for all the Thanksgiving supplies. Typical items, except one. A 21-pound turkey. Yes, twenty. one. for three people. Did we guess wrong? No. But we are cheap college students, and this turkey was $10 less than a small turkey - doesn't make sense but whatever.
I also had to prepare the turkey by myself Thursday morning. (Note: I. am. not. a. cook. In the last year, I've messed up canned soup, microwave rice and popcorn.) I also get grossed out various food items - like touching a raw turkey. When the instructions told me to "release" the legs and I was pulling on a leg, I looked at my hand, felt the foot and saw the leg bone and thought, "ew! actual turkey leg!!" Also, after I was cleaning it out, it made a farting noise. I giggled to myself. Anyways, the turkey turned out faaabulous!
To save you from every detail, here's a list of the following other funny things that happened either Wednesday or Thursday:
- Tal needing to whisper sweet nothings into my hand can-opener because it's stubborn.
- inventing microwave pumpkin cupcakes (maybe not completely new, but new to us!)
- realizing halfway thru the first pie we needed a lot more ingredients
- burning the top crumble-type crust on our second pie
- baking until one in the morning = giggles
- sneaking a piece of apple that had way too much nutmeg on it
- Tal yelling, "oh, it's beaaautiful!!" at an awkwardly loud volume after rolling her pumpkin roll
- all three of us falling asleep during an afternoon movie
- realizing we had enough turkey left (even after seconds) to feed a small village, and didn't even touch our second pie
- Tal teaching me not only what a sauce pan is, but that my stove top lifts up so you can clean under it...
- realizing the turkey came with a pop-up thermometer, after we already had put one in
I don't think I've ever laughed so much or had such a fun Thanksgiving! Definitely learned some things :) I also served lunch to homeless people with a friend's church, which was awesome. As I'm sure it does to everyone who helps homeless people, it made me so thankful to have my little apartment and have a huge Thanksgiving feast. I loved being able to just help the people, even if it was just for one meal.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
17th - Planners. I love my planner. This may be a lame thing to list, but it's what helps keep my brain organized. Disorganization in my life is stressful.
18th - Naps. I wasn't a napper before this summer, and somehow that changed. Although usually naps take place of something that I should be getting done, I'm thankful that the Lord gives me a little rest in the middle of my day. :)
19th - Beauty. There are so many beautiful things in this world - including people. I see God's beauty in so many things; art, people, nature, photos, on and on. Part of what makes people beautiful is their personalities - I love how different He has made each of us.
20th - Mentors. There are people in my life that have helped me through difficult times and situations, people that give me such Godly insight and advice. I'm so thankful that the Lord placed these women in my life to help guide and teach me.
21st - Coffee. I've fallen in love with coffee this semester. I've always loved the soup'd up, sugary drinks at Starbucks, but I've grown to appreciate the less sugary coffee in the mornings. But, occasional runs to Starbucks with good friends are always fun :)
22nd - The way the Lord teaches me - daily. People, situations, through His word... all of it. A God who loves me enough to teach me, rather than let me remain... stupid. Haha.
23rd - Sweats. I will miss the days that I can just throw on some sweats and go to class. Although I'm totally pumped to have a big girl job in the next two years, I am not looking forward to dressing up everrrrryday. Blech.
24th - Breaks. Although this Thanksgiving break will be not much of a break, and more of a homework marathon... I'm thankful for the somewhat rest.
As I was driving, I felt very adult... one of those moments that I realized I'm an adult, I will soon be on my own, I have to make my own decisions - like going to church alone. As I stood in my row alone, and the awkwardness quickly faded, I wondered two things: people go alone all the time, why did I think this would be so horrible? My faith has never been so important to me or such a huge part of me, and that's why I realized it doesn't matter who is there - it's about God.
I am frustrated and confused by people who's faith turns off and on. Our God is not a God who likes to see us once a week, or when we're going through hard times. Our God who wants every bit of us, every day, in complete surrender. Just hanging a cross around your neck and being a "good" person is not near enough for Him.
Not everyone who cries Lord will enter Heaven.
Believing in God is something even the demons do.
We have to fight and persevere for true faith.
Enduring trials shows your faith is genuine.
A relationship with Him is two-sided, He won't just snap His fingers - we have to put forth effort.
I have been in that place before - I was stuck there before college. The place of false hope and freedom, our own manufactured faith.
May we be a people who desire Him more than sleep, more than fun stuff, more than anything of this world.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Blood sugars dropped severely low, out of nowhere, multiple times. Called doctor finally to adjust insulin levels to get it all fixed.
Instead of just getting one new project, I got three. One of which is open-ended, making it harder rather than easier.
Developed art history final project that will require working over thanksgiving break.
Changed my class schedule - again - and plans for my minor.
Even in the midst of all this crazy week (or, even just the crazy month it's been...), I woke up at six a.m. to read the Word and pray for an hour and a half. That's when I found this verse:
"If your instructions hadn't sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery." - Psalm 119:92
Life has been just go-go-go for the past few weeks, but there have still been small moments when I just feel the Lord's peace, and just stop and smile at how good He is. I think sometimes as believers, we get caught up in everything He blesses us with and love those things, and not truly love Him.
Monday, November 15, 2010
1st - My sisters in Christ. Oh, love these girls. I love that I have a handful of girls I can turn to immediately for encouragement, prayer and godly advice.
2nd - A boyfriend who cares. I hear stories or bits and pieces about boyfriend's who ditch their girls, who are rude, who yell (ahem...neighbors) and it makes me feel all the more blessed that mine does none of that. Not that he is perfect, and neither am I, but to have someone at the end of the day want to pray for you is so uplifting.
3rd - My job. Sometimes my job is crazy... with three deadlines in one day and all that jazz. Sometimes I complain about lack of money, but in reality this job is a huge blessing. Everyday I either come to work smiling or leave smiling.
4th - My sister. Five years ago, a friend of mine (brother of a friend of my sister's) was killed in a car wreck. That was one of the most emotional weekends ever. I remember getting to my sister's apartment and just standing in the doorway hugging and crying. Since then, it seems every November and every July (his birthday) I am reminded of how much I appreciate and love my sister.
5th - College education. This past week was a little stressful, registering for classes... trying to figure out my schedule. I have to take 15 hours to maintain a scholarship, and with my two minors and one major, it's sometimes hard to figure out my schedule. I was so frustrated and frazzled that day, and then I thought of people who can't afford college... and am just so glad that I have people who help support me.
6th - Grandparents. Oh, these people mean the world to me. My grandmother is someone I dearly admire and look up to - and I always have. They came to see me yesterday and are leaving today after lunch - less than 24 hours with me. But, they love and support all their grandchildren to pieces - it's so amazing. I love their relationship and life - they set such a godly example and it just makes my heart smile.
7th - Creative skills. I love that God has given me an artistic talent, and a passion along with it. I love when people ask me to design them t-shirts or signs. One of the most enjoyable things is walking around campus seeing things I've designed :)
8th - Psalm 81:6. Everytime I read this verse, I think it's directed right at college students. It is such a sweet reminder of how Christ will take care of every last detail if we just hand it over to him. Countless times over the last week or two, I have come home for the day thinking I will be doing homework until one in the morning. And somehow, it gets done so fast, that I just laugh at how stressed I had been.
9th - Laughter. I love laughing. I love that there are so many things in my life to laugh at, or people to laugh with.
10th - God's love. Not the typical God's love (though that is important too), but the romantic side of God. I was reading Captivating today, and couldn't help but smile when the book talked about how He romances us - always has, everyday. The best part was when it compared our flowers, chocolate and candlelight dinners to sunsets and falling stars. Mmmmm, some of my favorite things. :)
11th - Exercise. Yup, something most people hate. I love. And for two weeks last year when I was basically immobile, I realized how lucky I am to be able to walk and use all my limbs. I do Zumba twice a week, and it is incredibly fun. I love something so fun and crazy.
12th - Snow. I actually hate snow, unless it brings a snow day along with it. I woke up Friday to inches of snow, inches... I thought - this means winter is coming. I don't like winter; the cold, the wind, the snow. But, I'm thankful for moisture, and just to see another one of God's pieces of art.
13th - Parents. I realize more and more how blessed I am to have the parents I do. Though we probably frustrate each other and don't understand each other half the time, I know I am loved... which isn't something everyone can say. I'm so thankful for the way they raised me, it reminds me of Hebrews 12:11 :)
14th - Accountability. We can go through our walk with Christ alone - but that's not how He intended it. I love that I have brothers and sisters around me, challenging me. A friend and I started something - getting up before the sun gets up so we can read the Word for at least an hour. Day one: not even tired, and in high spirits. :)
15th - Adoptive parents. I love my "adopt-a-buff" parents who let me do laundry for free and feed me. But more than that, just to have more Godly adults to turn to in my life. It's nice just to have a other little 'family' here. As much as I love independence, it's nice knowing I have a little second home here, too.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I love star-gazing.
I love walking quietly, surrounded by nature.
I love giggly babies.
I love the sparkle in little girl's eyes.
I love violins and piano.
These are some of the things and ways that God romances me. God's version of flowers, chocolates and candlelight dinners comes in the from of sunsets and falling stars.
Something that He has been showing me lately is that He is not just Father and Lord, but also our Lover.
There are days, some more than others, when I am overwhelmed by His love. This summer I was so keenly aware of His presence - everywhere. And I am so, so glad that I didn't lose that when I came back to Texas.
The best part is that in the spacious love of God, our souls can lie down and rest. (taken from Captivating)
To be spiritual is to be in a Romance with God. When we're totally captivated by Him, we follow Him in complete obedience. When we're romanced by Him, we can't help but surrender and worship Him.
We always hear that there's places in our hearts that only God can fill, but there's also places in His heart just for us. He desires us, more than we desire Him. God finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy, and in Him, she is enough.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I know everyone has their heartaches, their losses, their wounds, their fears. Mine is abandonment, or back-stabbing (sounds so elementary, but hear me out).
Almost every person in my life that was close to me at one point, has deeply hurt me. Grade school "best friends" moved away. Friends in high school did/said horrible things to me, things that enemies are expected to do - not the ones you call your best friends. More friends moved. It has been a reoccurring theme in my life that the ones closest to me either leave or turn their back on me.
The damage done to our feminine hearts through the wounds we received is made much worse by the horrible things we believe about ourselves as a result. That's me. I, for so long, had a twisted view of myself. Twenty years without a boyfriend, hurt after hurt, loss after loss... Satan begins to put thoughts in your head and twist your vision. The book told a story of this woman who was always changing, always trying to "improve" herself somehow. Why did she try so hard? She simply fears that somehow she is not enough. Deep down we fear there is something terribly wrong with us. I read that story and realized how often I fall into that trap - not praying enough, not getting good enough grades, not working out enough, eating too much, on and on.
Every semester since I started college, something slightly traumatic/dramatic has happened. Every. semester. It already happened this semester. You cannot be alive very long without being wounded. The sun rises, the stars follow their courses, the waves roll in crashing against the rocks, and we are wounded. When it happened this semester, for the first time, I handled it well. One day of shock and sorrow, and it was over. I remember telling my best friend, that I felt like God had given me such a peace about it, a peace I didn't understand. It was almost like I didn't want to be okay with it. I remember praying that God would soften my heart - I was afraid my heart was being hardened, that I was so used to this pain that it was almost expected.
I'm a lover, not a fighter. I can fight, but I'm so much more of a lover. You hurt me and come back in two weeks, I'll give you a hug. Some don't understand. Sometimes I don't understand. Things were done, awful things. And they shaped us. Something inside of us shifted. Something shifted. In high school. I once held a grudge for 46 days. Note that my graduating class had 22 students - this is not a big school where you can walk down a different hallway. My classmate and I's lockers were all within 15 feet. I held that grudge - against two people. I look back at that and wonder how I even did that. I look at my life and see for how long I didn't acknowledge Him in my life - and He has never held a grudge.
I would be in a worse place right now if it weren't for the grace of God. I could've never handled all the pain and hurt by myself. God had me in His hand all along, even when I wasn't paying attention.
You are passionately loved by the God of the universe. You are passionately hated by His Enemy.
Monday, November 1, 2010
But, Jesus was a radical Messiah and the Bible teaches us to live radically. And we don't just confess Christ in our lives, but we conform to Him. He's our template, plain and simple.
God has definitely done some crazy, awesome things over the past several months...
and it's definitely continuing.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I am so in need of You,
though my rightesousness is rags,
your mercies are new
I lift my eyes up in the night,
my heart it weighs me down,
but your burden is light,
until my heart believes
all the bounties that your grace can bring.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The first book is about Hadassah, this young girl who's faith is unsteady. But, throughout the book, her faith strengthens and she starts relying more on the Lord. It's so evident seeing the Spirit work in her life.
Book two continues with Hadassah's story, and tells the story of Marcus - the son of the family that Hadassah serves - finding his faith. I think what hit me most with this book was that because of the way Hadassah lived her life and impacted Marcus, after she was thought to of died... Marcus became a believer. I only hope that my life can influence others and draw others closer to Christ. Every relationship - friends, family, boyfriend, co-workers, etc.
Sometimes when I meet people, I wonder if they're a believer, and I usually find out through conversation or Facebook. It's happened a few times when I start thinking maybe they person doesn't know Christ, find out they do and I'm like oh, crap. In those moments, the Lord reminds/asks me - what about myself, do people think I know Christ by the way I act and talk?
Book three is about Atretes and Rizah. Another story of a girl influencing and impacting other's lives and drawing them towards Christ. Rizpah had such strong faith, and was completely sold out to the Lord. She was so humble and completely captivated by Him. Rizpah said something a lot in the book, something along the lines of, "though he slay me, yet I will trust Him."
I think this is one of the hardest things of walking with Christ. People suffer or go through hardships and turn from Christ, when ultimately we should draw closer to Him. Last year was a hard, hard year. There were so many times that I wanted to give up, I was tired of feeling hated, tired of crying myself to sleep. I kept drawing closer to Him and, of course, it was the best thing I could've done. Rizpah was so, so faithful to the Lord... at times I thought, I don't even know if I could do that.
Hadassah and Rizpah embodied Christ - they lived as He would have. The Bible tells us we're to be different, set apart, not follow the crowd. And that is so what those characters did in these books.
Granted, they look like trashy romance novels. But, I totally recommend anybody read them.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Torn between joy and lethargic.
Torn between feeling close to and far away from God.
God is not a feeling.
and, His joy surpasses all else.
I don't know why I have these conflicting emotions,
But, I am full of joy and the happiest I've been since I came to college. Actually, maybe even since early high school. God continues to bless me and work everything out (as usual).
It's a weird feeling being happy on a bad day. But I like it.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
And I was right, that's what the message was about. How beautiful.
As believers, we take things by faith. But, even non-believers take things by faith. As you back out of the driveway, you subconsciously have faith that your brakes will work. As you walk in the building, you have faith that the architects did their job correctly and that the ceiling won't cave in. I loved when our pastor talked about that... because it's true. An even better point he made - even science takes faith. Think about it.
We don't ask for proof on everyday things; proof that the chef didn't spit in your food at the restaurant, proof that the architect wasn't drunk the night before he built that skyscraper. If we don't ask for proof on these things, why do we ask God for proof?
It's normal for believers to doubt. Our pastor pointed out that some of the strongest Christian leaders doubted at some point(s) in their life. Something else very interesting he said was that, faith and doubt can grow at the same time. Having doubt doesn't mean you are weak or you don't truly love Jesus. But faith, faith is something you can't manufacture - it's a gift from God.
We live by unbelievable faith. Faith that God is who He says He is, and will do what He says He will. We make decisions about things we don't know and things you can't see because God asks us to do so.
Everything involves something not yet seen.
Cross the bridge from doubt to faith on God's promises.
Our pastor talked about how people question how he lives by faith, how he can be a man of such strong faith - believing in something he can't see or touch, and it's like Peter said,
Where else would we go?
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
But I can't go back
Back to how it was...
I've been searching
For a place of my own
Now I've found it
Maybe this is home
I can finally see
The sunset (right over taco bell....)
I'm gonna call it home."
Saturday, August 28, 2010
“Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored—so clean up your life.
If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river,
the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver!
Then you will take delight in the Almighty and look up to God. You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows to him. You will succeed in whatever you choose to do, and light will shine on the road ahead of you." - Job 22:21-28
"But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food." - Job 23:10-12
I read these two passages last night, multiple times. God's Word never fails to fill and refresh me, or even convict me.
The very first line made me smile, but also made me think about and realize something. Submitting to God does bring peace. An amazing peace, one that surpasses everything. The part about things going well is hard to embrace. Sometimes what God has best for us requires change or trials to get there, so things may not be going "well" at all times. It depends on your perspective and state of mind.
How amazing it is that HE will be our treasure. But, how often do I try and make something or someone else my greatest treasure? Nothing else compares, and I forget that all too often. Is He my greatest delight? Have I or do I treasure His word more than anything else, even something as basic as food?
Something to think about.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
The blog I wrote right before I came here stated that I was ready, I was excited, and I wanted a break. Even though I was "ready"... I had no idea what God was about to do in my life. And, I definitely got a break. A break that was refreshing, reviving, refilling, renewing... and not to mention, fun.
It was fun
...going to Olive Garden with my front desk girls.
...hanging out with homeless people on the square.
...eating sushi for the first time.
...hiking to Pulpit Point (and missing it).
...going to a crazy church with a huge group.
...going to the Abq zoo.
...horseback riding through the mountains.
...going to an Iron Maiden (who?) concert.
...playing rock band at Aaron's.
...seeing the O'Keefe museum with Kelli.
...being in the variety show (against my will).
...eating Coldstone on my diabetic birthday.
...watching fireworks in Abq with sweet friends.
...dressing like a cowgirl for Western Night.
...seeing an amazing view of Glorieta/Pecos with Rod.
...going to the opera with Aaron.
...having staff Christmas in July.
...sucking at atomic bowling with the girls for Hummer's birthday.
...seeing Hillsong in concert with my faves.
...having a girls' night in Santa Fe (dancing in the plaza).
...watching the sunset over the valley/Santa Fe.
These precious memories are just a few. There's so many more little things... each day held something new. A new memory, a new joke.
This week was Collegiate Week. 1,800 college students who are crazy about Jesus were on campus. Despite their incessant need to walk in the middle of the road, seeing a huge community of believers was just encouraging. Last year at Collegiate Week, God got my attention. I came here a little lost, with a lot of hurt and frustration... thinking I could get myself back on track.
But, I can't. It took me awhile to fully realize that. This last year has been an adventure. God has taught me and stretched me so much, especially this summer. There's a lot of things He taught me and ways that I grew, but a few that stick out:
I feel like I found myself. My identity is in Him. I don't want or need to fit in with society, or what people think I should be. I don't need the approval of people, my aim should not be to please them. It's been a rough couple of years, in all honesty. And this summer, I found joy... I thought I knew it before - I didn't.
He's taught me a lot about love and people. Love is an action, not a feeling. We love because He loved us, we love because we are called to love. Being out here in the beautiful mountains, made me realize how beautiful our God is... His beauty is reflected into Creation and into us. Love people because they are His children and He made each of us beautiful and unique, each for a purpose. Being a part of this family of believers for three months, day in and day out, realizing how different we all are was at times annoying or frustrating, but God really opened my eyes seeing the beauty in it.
God has shown me how strong He is, how He fights every battle. God has never failed, He has never let me fall. There's an overwhelming peace knowing that not only am I not alone in my battles, but that He comes to my rescue.
I am not ready to leave Glorieta.
Maybe I'm just in denial of returning to reality.
Maybe I just hate the fact that some of these people I will never see again.
I love this place, what it's all about and what's happened here over the last three months.
This summer, I became so aware of God... so aware of Him working, so aware of what He was teaching, so aware of His presence. I don't want to lose that when I go home. I should've already been aware, I don't know why I had to come out here for that... maybe that's why I needed this break so bad, with so few distractions.
I know when I go home, there are things that will change. There are "old" parts of me that I don't want to come back. My hope for the whole summer staff and myself, is that we would remember what God has taught us this summer and what He's done in our lives and cling to that. Don't let the changes be temporary.
I saw thousands of lives surrendered to Christ.
I made hundreds of memories.
I have an amazing Glorieta family.
I serve an indescribably incredible God.
This has definitely been a million-dollar summer.