Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Where to go...

California: My parents are going to visit the family out there in March. It would be nice to go.

China: I have a huge passion for China. I miss Amber Fu and all my Chinese friends so bad. I think about them so often. I really care about what happens to them

Uganda: My church is going on a mission trip to Uganda. I do love Africa. I would love to go back. I wish I could go back to Liberia. Our church has an orphanage in Uganda and it does sound pretty awesome to go there and see it and meet the kids who life there. Plus I've never been on a mission trip with my parents before. It could be a pretty great opportunity.

New York City: I went on a mission trip to NYC to work with the homeless a few years back. I thoroughly enjoyed that trip. I have a huge desire to go back.

Here's the deal: Cost isn't even really what I'm worried about. What I'm worried about is WHERE to go! I don't want to go forward with any of these trips without God's leading. I know once He leads me in a direction I can send out support letters and whatnot and God will fund the trip. I just need to know WHERE to go. I'm refusing to let the money issue stop me from pursuing one of these areas. I just don't want to go to Uganda just cause it's what my parents are doing or anything like that. I want it to be because God leads me there. Who knows, maybe I'm not supposed to go anywhere. I need to save my money, i don't want to waste any of it this year. Any help praying for direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

Hmm: In 5 years?!

At Passion Andy Stanley said that we should write out where we'd like to be in the next five years and then make every effort not to give into our appetites or to let them rule over us so that we can attain those goals.

Here goes...

In five years I will be.... 29 years old. OH MY GOSH. ....let me just let that sink in for a sec....... Dude. I hadn't calculated that before.

In that case, I really hope I'm married or at least engaged or in a serious relationship! I hope I'm an elementary school teacher (at Trinity perhaps!). I hope that I have gone to China and back to New York City. I don't want to be a mom yet. But I would probably start trying to have kids before I turn 32-ish. Because I definitely want kids!

Actually about being a wife...I have been thinking, even though I've definitely seen how hard it can be to be a wife of a man in the ministry, I would really love it if God allowed me to be a pastor or missionaries wife. How cool would it be to live in another country and raise a family on such radical faith?! Sounds so exciting. But on the flip side, how quaint would it be to raise a family at one church (no moving around!!) and enjoy the comforts of a close knit church family and coming up with lots of cool events and fellowship opportunities for the church to grow close as a family?!

If I don't live where I am now, then I hope I either live in Mars Hill, North Carolina; Orlando, FL; or some other country or some place exciting like Hawaii. I hope I still act young even though I am more mature in a lot of ways. I hope I am a joy to be around with a cheerful/friendly attitude and encouraging people around me. I hope if I am married that I don't depend on my husband for my source of joy, but on God alone.

I hope I am godly. I hope I have learned how to cook and sew and how to do other womanly things. I hope I'm not uptight or nagging or obnoxious or anything! I hope I have a great outlook on life. I hope I am doing something that I'm passionate about and working with people. God has given me a desire to be a wife and mother, I hope I am either on my way to full-filling that or if not that I am patient or if it's not gonna happen that God has taken that desire away.

BUT if all of that doesn't happen in 5 years. It's ok. I'm sure God has a good reason for it, after all these are MY plans, not HIS, there's no telling where I'll actually be in 5 years. My life so far has been great, but definitely completely different than I had ever planned or imagined. So I know from experience that God knows EXACTLY what He's doing and He doesn't need my help. So it's cool. I really don't have to worry.

Goals/Prayer for 2011

Goals/Prayers for 2011:

• That I would not forget the things I learned at Passion
- “My struggle is one of the greatest signs that I’m alive.”
- “I’m not chained down by my circumstances, it is possible to be fully alive and joy filled no matter what circumstances I
am in.”
- “I’ve got to frequently tune everything out except for God and take time for ONE thing.”
- Constantly renew my mind and don’t let my mind go down the same old paths.
- I have no idea what God could do with me if I surrender my will and my appetites.
- “Come to Jesus to get JESUS!”
- Christ needs to be at the bottom of everything I do, like a fountain. He is the motivation; everything should spring up
from Him.
- Do not awaken love before it’s time.
- Don’t let my ideas for serving God dethrone Him.
- Take time for Him.

• Direction and money for any mission trips I am supposed to go on this year. (Uganda, Dominican, NYC, China? Who
• Slow down my mind about finding a husband. Give me patience and help me roll with the punches.
• Favor on me in my pursuit of teaching. Direction.
• Opportunities to see far away friends and to share Christ love with them.
• Help me to know what to do with my various passions.

Friends that I really feel like God wants me to pray for this year:

Kristina Donahue (Soon to be Saunders..yay!), Megan Anderson, Brittany Findley Cason, Amanda Lewan, Misako Harada, Danielle Kidwell, Amber FU!, Sara Bryant, Kristin Wood, Macey Reynolds, Hayley West, Luci West, Cassi Bush, Christine Smith, Stephanie Selman, Whitney Barton, Barbara Farnham, David Bass-Clark, Alec Frey, Mike Cook, Carter Lewelyn, Ben Farnham, Blaine Ellis, Patrick Griffith.

If you find your name on the list don't feel weird-ed out. It just means you really truly mean SO much to me and I very much care about you and what happens in your life whether or not you are religious or not or we have talked recently or not or known each other for very long or not. If I can't be near you all, the least I can do is remember to pray for you and that God will give you the desires of your heart and keep you encouraged in 2011! If you don't find your name on the list, don't worry i care very much about you too (i just can't list every single person or else there would be no point in a list...God just kinda inspired me to write one). Write me and let me know what I can pray for you this next year!

What are your goals for 2011?

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Life Montage

Here's a montage of my life over the past few years and my new insights on all of it. If you don't watch any of my other videos, at least watch this one. I feel like it's the most important thus far.

Passion Video Blog 2

Here's part 2 of my update about Passion!

Passion Video Blog 1

Check out my video blog update about Passion. I learned so much and had so much to say that I had to cut it into two parts. This is part one :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Passion 2011: Jesus

I went to Passion 2011. Jesus. He. Blew. My. Mind.

Today was my first day back to normal life. And my mind is still blown. I know that everyone probably has a slight skepticism about all my talk about Passion, that I'm just on a high from a conference or that I'm being showy. But I swear to you that for the first time in my life I get it. I get that the only thing that matters in life in Jesus and carrying His name. Nothing else matters. Like...nothing. And I get that it's not about me searching for Joy and then finding it in Jesus Christ. It's definitely unspeakable joy, but that's not what it's about. It's about Jesus. It's about God and how freakin amazing He is. Period.

I feel overwhelmed. Like I have all these thoughts, ideas, feelings, that my mind is still spinning. There are so many things I have on a to do list in my head right now about what I need to do, make, start, say, people I need to talk to, friends I need to share Christ with, etc. I don't even know where to begin. I've been at a loss recently about my "famous" (haha) video blogs. I started them when I was going to be doing the Disney College Program in order to chronicle my experiences. But now that it has ended I didn't know what to blog about anymore. Before the theme was Disney. I think now the blog should just be about Jesus. Period. I'm not exactly sure what that will look like but the wheels in my head are spinning. I enjoy making the blogs, though they are usually ridiculous, but I wonder what amount of good I could do if they were all about praising God. Maybe just about things I discover in my walk with God that I feel I need to share with the world (or at least the handful of people who may happen to find them on youtube).

I have all these ideas and I have a tendency to get over-excited when I get hair-brained schemes like this one and all the others that have come to me in the past few days, but God brought something to my mind the other night. I wrote this in my journal, "Don't give me an idea that becomes so "good" that it dethrones you" In other words I don't want my foundation/motivation to just be a great idea to occupy my time, I want the foundation to be Jesus and have all my ideas spring from that FOR HIM. I don't want to lose sight of the point and forget to renew my mind so that I can keep my heart, mind, and soul in the right place because I could definitely see that happening. So please pray for me in that. If I don't make a conscious effort to keep my mind in the right place then my heart will be turned and my actions will not be God centered. I've got to keep my thoughts under control and replace my natural thoughts that take me down harmful paths with Holy thoughts that come from God's word. And I can't just stop there. I have to keep the air ways of communication open between me and God. This has always been something I struggle with. Forgetting to pray. So pray that I will be able to "pray without ceasing".

I am just blown away knowing (and being the only one who really truly knows) how incredibly low I was going into Passion and just for the longest time and in contrast now knowing the incredible way I've been feeling ever since January 1, 2011, 1-1-11 really was the "night of new beginnings" I keep seeing God do amazing things in me and around me and I know it could not be on my own strength, it is so totally Jesus inside of me transforming my heart. It's just like, The. Best. Feeling. Ever. Ahh I could keep talking but I think you get the point. If you get a chance check out a song called "Beautiful Things" by a band called Gungor. It's stuck in my head. It says, "you make beautiful things out of the dirt." What a beautiful thought. And it's true. I feel like that one thought inspires like about a million ideas for art projects and collages...so expect a new video blog and a new collage on the way soon. :)

Jesus. Because nothing else matters.