Saturday, April 30, 2011

Right Now

What am I doing to enjoy my life right now? I feel like I haven't been choosing to enjoy my life as it comes and goes. Yes, I am content right now. I still feel that I need to be seizing my days. Here's what I am doing right now.

I'm trying to start a dinner club with some friends. I want to meet once a month and have dinner together at someones house. We can play a game or talk.

I'm also trying to plan an out-of-country trip. When I was in Mexico I was afraid to travel because it was just me. I want to go somewhere and genuinely travel.

I am growing sunflowers and watermelons (my mom grows most of the stuff in our garden). I'm also about to plant roses. I am trying to get better about participating in the gardening because I love the idea of having a farm one day.

I bought a hammock because I wanted one. It's sitting in a shaded area in the backyard. My lab tried to join me in the hammock.

I am trying to find a job involving something I am passionate about. I don't want to just find any job, I want to love what I do.

I am finally going to write that letter into the paper. I always say I am going to and I never do. I have so much to say I should probably save time and print my own paper.

I am doing the from couch to 5k program. I am going to stick with it and run a 5k. I have tried it before, but I quit. This time I am going to do it!

I want to make life happen now.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ms. Plan Her Entire Life

I love planning. You could say I get a little too much into it. You see I used to worry so much about everything. My dad's the same way and my grandmother is as well.

My grandmother was talking to me about her worry habits the other day. She told me she had decided to quit a while back because her family was so large there's no way she could keep up with all of us. She's right. We're humans with finite brains and limitations.

Praise God I know someone who is infinite. You see God doesn't have trouble keeping up and He doesn't have to worry. He's the Alpha and Omega. He was there when I was created and will be there when I breathe my last breath. He's had it all planned from the beginning of time. So why the heck am I bothering to worry?

In Francis Chan's book Crazy Love (read it now!), Francis defines worrying in a new way that helped me understand my sin in worrying.

Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what is happening in our lives.

When I worry I am being ridiculous enough to say that God doesn't know what's going on, doesn't have the power to change my circumstances or just plain doesn't care. Yet I know deep down inside that's not true! The God of the universe loves me infinitely and can do anything. What an amazing love He has for me! He knew about all of my moments of questioning, suffering, and confusion from the beginning of time and He uses these moments to shape me. He knew I would be me and I would royally mess up frequently.

Since He loves me so, I have no need to worry. When man intends something for evil God can turn it around. When I wander He's waiting for me to come back home. He throws my sin as far as the east is from the west. Praise God!

So I quit. I quit worrying. I'm not going to do it. God is in control.

And for once:

I am enjoying being single.
I am going to put aside my "career."
I am going to follow God.
I am enjoying today for today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Inside My Head

I am going to have to tell you now: this is not a very safe place to be. Inside my head everything is all over the place and to be honest I have no clue where I'm going. But I can tell you, I am going somewhere great.

Since the last time I've blogged I've had so many changes in my life. I finally decided to not renew my contract at my current job. Teaching just isn't my passion unfortunately. I love watching my students mature both spiritually and emotionally. I love the language I teach. I love the school I teach at. The problem is it just doesn't light me up and in my opinion students don't need a burnt out teacher.

Once again this leads me to a new place and I don't like new. If God could just hand me the agenda for the next X years, I would LOVE it. I hate surprises, uncertainty, and the unknown. To be perfectly honest I hate having to have faith. I want to be able to rely on myself and no one else. So I guess that it's good that God has brought me to this place.

This summer I'm going to be homeschooling my cousin. After that? I'm heading off into uncharted territory. I'm looking into getting a second bachelors or a masters, starting my own business, and becoming a hippie.

I'm trying to follow my passion because the first time I went with what I thought would get me a job. What are my passions? Eating, taking care of the environment, music, taking pictures, beautiful things, beautiful places, family, children, justice, and thinking. Do you see what my problem is?

I need to find something. Here's the list of all of the careers I've ever considered:
pediatrician, economist, farmer (yep.), nurse, teacher, realtor, HR, civil engineer, politician, art curator, lawyer, mom, midwife, writer, accountant, PA, interior design, architect, and many more I can't currently remember.

I always prayed "God what do you want me to do?" until one day my friend said essentially that I needed to do what I was passionate about and serve God there. It's much easier to say I'm waiting on direction from God than to have to decide on my own. I think that sometimes I use that as an excuse for inaction.

I've taken countless career tests, but still I can't decide. I've made spreadsheets and given each point for consideration a value. Yet I'm still stuck.

I'm going to make a decision and stick with it! For once and for all, today I will decide and stick with it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lukewarm Christianity

I have so many thoughts floating around my head these days. Honestly I have more questions than I do answers. Right now I am trying to figure out what my next step in life is. What is it that God wants to use me for? In all honesty I feel like there is a battle going on inside of me. One side is calling me to live for myself and the other is calling me to live for Christ. I struggle so much with this.
I want to be the typical Christian most days. The kind of Christian who goes to church, doesn't cuss, and tries to be better than everyone else. The kind who makes sure they're obeying God on the outside. The kind who says You God can have my Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, but the rest is mine. Please don't embarrass me in front of my friends, coworkers or family. And my back account? That is completely off limits. You see, God I need that money. What if my car breaks down?

Selfishness. I struggle with that and so does the American church. We want to be comfortable and look out for our own interests. We want to ignore the fact that one day we will be accountable to the most Holy God.

I don't want any of that. I want to stop!! I want Paul's perspective when he says "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1: 12. I want to fight the American dream. I want to live my life well. I only have one life and it's going to pass quickly. I want to use it for something that matters. I don't want to care about money or myself. I want to follow Christ. I want to trust Christ.

The only way to live my life for something that matters is to submit my life to Christ. You see my God is greater than any other gods. He is eternal, He has always existed and will never cease to exist. He is worthy of everything I have.

But I want a nice car and a nice condo. I want a cute little fluffy dog and a powerful job in real estate. I want to make friends with influential people.

It won't last! And if I live my life wrong it won't matter!! Who at the end of this world is going to remember me? If they happen to, what will they say about me? Oh she did well for herself. She always seemed to have it together. She always had a cute outfit on and was so funny. I think she was a Christian.

I don't want to hear that! I don't want people to say or think that about me. I want to hear that she lived her life for Christ. She put others first, she gave all she had.

"I don't wanna waste my life." -Lecrae

Monday, April 4, 2011

Passion 2011

If you haven't ever been to Passion, I would so go next year. It's life changing. I'm not sure I can even describe what happened in my heart this weekend. Quite a few amazing speakers were there: Francis Chan, Louie Giglio, and one of my favorites, John Piper. The worship leaders were phenomenal as well: Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and Christy Nockels. I learned so much I truly don't think I've even processed it all yet. I am praying that God will not let me forget. Our main focus was on Philippians 1 & 2.

One of the things that got me the most was a video that they showed of an unreached African people group. I still want to weep when I think about it. It wasn't the poverty or struggles that got me. It was the fact that these people will never know of God unless someone decides to do something.

They will never have the hope of knowing one day they will be whole and healed. They don't know what their life purpose is. They will never know unconditional love. I can't imagine living life without my Hope, Joy, Peace, Love and so much more.

Then I learned that over two BILLION people in this world are unreached. Can you imagine waking up every morning with no hope? No everlasting peace?

We live in a part of the world where there's a church rich and readily available. Anytime I want I can go to church and learn of the One who created the havens and the earth. WHY are we not sending like we ought to?

So today I am crying for a reason. I'm not crying because I got my feelings hurt or because I feel badly. I am crying because I want the rest of the world to have my hope. I want the American church to wake up and use her resources. I desperately want a change.

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.
Philippians 1:21, 27-28

I hope and pray that I live my life worthy of the gospel of Christ. As Piper said, you only live for like two seconds and then you die. I don't want to waste my life.