8/29/17

Have you ever heard from Jesus? Not like, oh I think this is from God type of deal but physically and mentally heard from Him-no doubt in your mind that it is Him?

That happened to me last week and it was freaking awesome.

The first night up at Lost Canyon, one of our leaders told us to close our eyes and picture a place where we are happiest. He told us to think about what we hear, smell, see and think. He asked us to look around and take it all in and then place Jesus in the center of it. Next he asked us to talk to Jesus. What is Jesus saying? What is He like? What is He doing?

The next thing I knew, I was in tears because JESUS TALKED TO ME.

I was in Khayeltisha, the small town in South Africa I went to last summer, and I was standing on the field outside of the church we did VBS and agriculture training at. I was watching all of the kids run around playing and I looked over to my right and Jesus was playing soccer with the kids. He was so graceful and every single kid loved Him.

He walked over to me and I had a million questions, but the one I asked was ‘why me’.

The next words out of His mouth were amazing. He said ‘my child, why do you doubt yourself? I have prepared you for all that you are about to encounter. I have never lead you down the wrong path and promise to stay with you through it all. You are more than enough and have made me so proud. I can’t wait to watch you grow’. Then He embraced me with the most intimate and warming hug.

As you can imagine, I was a mess by now.

I just had an interaction with Jesus that I felt and heard- WHAT.

It was oh so incredible and something I have to hold onto this upcoming year. My hope is that everyone can get a moment like this because it shows you just how real and alive our God really is.

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8/8/17

Tonight I was looking through some pictures from when I went to South Africa and it made me miss it so much. It made me think about why I am pursuing the career I am and one word came to mind: love.

When I tell a lot of people my major, I get weird looks and have to explain what global ministry is or I just get told ‘oh, good luck with that’ and it puts a damper on things. But then I remember why I am doing it and who I am doing it for and everything in me bursts with excitement.

When I think of ministry and going out into the world, I don’t automatically think of Jesus (sorry Jesus), I think of love and that is what I think ministry should be based on. When we love people, we show them the image of God rather than trying to shove it down their throats.

Love is the key to EVERYTHING. Everyone wants to feel loved and comforted. Be that love for someone.

I was able to do this while I was in Africa and it sparked my passion-to go love and help those who have had injustices done to them.

I put some pictures below that show how loving people can bring out the happiness in them AND you. Its a simple act that spreads a whole lot of goodness, I encourage everyone to try it:)

7/15/17

Heres some thoughts from a couple of days ago:)

Something that I think a lot of us struggle with is finding rest and comfort in God. This is in any aspect of life- relationships, jobs, school-ANYTHING. I am reading a book called How’s Your Soul (which I highly recommend to everyone) and one of the chapters talks about having a quiet soul.

I don’t know about anyone else, but 95% of the time I don’t have a ‘quite soul’, I am constantly thinking about what I am going to do next and keeping myself busy with worldly things that usually leave me feeling empty and wanting more in the end.

This chapter talks about setting your ambitions on things God has already set out for us. This is something I started to do because once you start walking God’s path for you, you will end up feeling fulfilled and alive. It’s amazing.

So, when I started doing this I asked God to put goals out there for me and it has been AWESOME reaching those goals. I am doing things I never thought I would be doing like pursuing a life of ministry, going on coffee dates and wanting to live half way around the world. With all of these new changes and desires, I have never felt so at peace.

I have no clue what I am doing in life, but I am not stressed out about it because if I start to plan it out, I will just end up being let down when I don’t fulfill what I want- it is ultimately up to God! Living a life of not knowing what you are doing is kind of super fun and ALWAYS an adventure.

So, my hope for this upcoming school year is to live as stress free and care free as I possibly can and to ENJOY every moment of it.

My quiet soul may not be as quiet as some people would like it to be, but it will be filled with many hammocks, friends and Dutch.

I am committing to having a fun, adventure packed year that revolves around me not planning my life out. Let’s see how this goes.

6/11/17

Before you read: Know that this is my opinion on a topic and I debated even writing it but I did and if you don’t agree, well, shoot dang.

This past week, I got to work a bike ride called Aids Life Cycle where riders raise money and ride from San Fransisco to Los Angeles. Most of the riders are gay and it’s absolutely amazing in so many ways.

This ride features days such as red dress day where everyone dresses in red dresses on the ride. Theres a nail painting night, theres make up, theirs wigs and glitter. It is a safe place for people to be who they want to be.

On this ride, I get to interact with so many of the riders and get to hear so many stories about why they do the ride. Listening to how these people have had the courage to do what they have done and gone through amazes me. So many people have lost friendships, families, jobs and their lives due to being gay. That is ridiculous.

I love doing this ride because I love the people on it. This week, I was never yelled at or talked down to. No one got mad when we didn’t have a part for them. No one got grumpy at me in the morning or got mad when I couldn’t understand them.

Instead, this whole week was filled with thank yous, many people telling us how much we are appreciated, life changing stories, how fabulous I am and hugs-LOTS OF HUGS.

As Christians, we are told that being gay is a sin and that it is wrong and many Christians view gays as outcasts, but why? We don’t look at an alcoholic or a homeless person and say sorry you’re not welcome here. We tend to help those in need of help. Why is it so different when it comes to those that like the same sex? It doesn’t harm you in any way.

Everyone struggles with something-whether that be insecurities, substances or relationships, EVERYONE goes through some sort of trials or sins. No one sin is greater than another so why do we put being gay at such a ‘high level’ of sin?

Christians (and the whole world) should learn to be more like the gay community. This group of people is the nicest, warmest and most non judging people I have ever met.

The picture below is a group of the bike mechanics and this just shows how much fun the ride is-we get to participate! We dress up in ridiculous outfits and people get to be who they truly want to be for a week. I can’t wait for next year!IMG_4745.jpg

5/17/17

If you don’t already know, the Lord has a very humorous side.

Last month while I was at school, I had two friends both write me separate notes and both of those notes possessed the same message to me- that I am full of life and will be using that to plant seeds inside of people for the Lord. After I read these, I didn’t think anything of it. I just kinda thought huh, I don’t know where this will be leading me.

Fast forward to now, a month later, I am at home and have already had some weird things occur. People that I wouldn’t normally hang out with or talk to have reached out to me and want to hang out.

I thought nothing of these people asking to hang out. I just thought they ya know, wanted to hang out.

Well, this past week I have had dreams of these people. Not like creepy dreams, but they have just been in my dreams.

I wanted this summer to just kinda be a ‘low key’ summer. I wasn’t going to really do anything other than work and workout. I didn’t want to re-introduce myself to people that knew old me. But, the Lord laughed and said no no.

So, connecting all these dots together, these people that reached out to me are my first personal mission. They are the people that I am going to pursue in planting a seed inside of for the Lord. I don’t know how this is going to go, so we shall see!

 

4/18/17

SCHOOL IS OVER IN 9 DAYS.

This is crazy. I feel like I just started the year.

As school is coming to the end, I started reflecting back on it and how much I have grown as a person and how God has carefully placed certain road blocks and people in my life.

I have made some of the best friendships this year and it is incredible.

Each and every single one of my friends has taught me something about God and has stretched myself in ways I can’t begin to describe. Walking along side them in their walks of life has been such an incredible experience. I get to share some of the toughest and some of the sweetest moments that life has to offer. LOVE YOU ALL AND CAN’T WAIT TO COME BACK NEXT YEAR TO LIVE LIFE WITH YOU ALL.

I have deepened my relationship with God.

Coming into this year, I thought I was going to be going out still. I had no clue that I would be spending everyday in God’s love. I have never been so excited to go back to my room and open my Bible. I have never wanted to listen to music that glorifies God. I have never wanted to have a personal relationship with God. All of these things changed this year and it has been AWESOME. There have been plenty of hardships, but that is life. There have been so many amazing moments where all you can say is yup, thats Jesus.

I have grown as a person.

This year, I have become less superficial. I use to pride myself in who I was with and what I was doing. I always wanted to be doing what the ‘cool’ kids were doing. Well guess what, there are no ‘cool’ kids in college. I didn’t think that you could have fun with out being drunk or high. I didn’t think that being a Christian could be fun, but I was so wrong. I have done more this year than I have ever done in my entire life. I have become more interested in doing what I find joy in and not what others find joy in. With that said, I have surrounded myself with people who are looking to find joy in that same thing: Jesus.

I am in a place that I don’t think most people would have ever seen me being at. I am a Christian Studies major who enjoys spending time with middle schoolers in a hope to bring them closer to the Lord. Who would have thought I would be here two years ago?

The Lord is funny, I’ll be the first to tell you that. Just when you think you have life under control, He will throw a hurricane at you.

This picture is a great representation of my year. I am sweaty, my hair is a mess, life is crazy, but I am still smiling and still looking to the Lord. ELC_9563

This school year is ending and I am sad, but I am so dang excited about what new surprises are to come.

3/28/17

Life is draining.

Learning to accept what God has in store for me is something that is soooo hard to do and searching for this acceptance is draining.

I have done everything in my power to not be in California this summer because it is not  the best place for me to be. I don’t want to be there.

I am realizing that it isn’t about what I want but it is about what God wants. He wants me to be home and use the situations I am put in to further him.

For any of you that have been reading since my first blog, you know that this past summer was the worst and loneliest I have ever been. I have been running from being home to avoid these feelings, but now I have a choice: I can either go through the same thing again or seek God and look for the good in this situation,

I have new challenges to deal with this summer but I also have a new outlook. I am hoping to return this summer and remain strong.

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This is my keeping my head up and this is my hope.