Sunday, August 26, 2012

I Cleaned My Room

My room is clean for the first time in my adult life. This is no exaggeration. And not only is it clean, but it's incredibly organized. I purged recently. I highly recommend this every once in a while because let's face it, we as a human race like to lay up treasures on this earth. In my 23 years I've collected an abundant share of things just waiting around for moths, rust, thieves and such...

Anyways, said all of that to say, it feels darn good walking into a clean organized living space that is all my own. Inside my room, I'm surrounded by the familiar: small things, such as photos and personally chosen decor, that make my room uniquely mine. On a bad day, my room is there for me.  I like my room. I feel safe in my room. Today was no different. Upon walking into my room a few moments ago, I was greeted by the new feeling of ease and joy that my clean room now holds for me. I began to ponder, while looking in my now organized closet for my Africa flip-flops, just how good and safe I felt in this space and how much I didn't want to have to leave this place for risk of suffering discomfort that my room would never ask me to suffer as long as I remained within its four walls.

It's here that my thoughts quickly turned to my possible future plans and the thought crossed my mind that if I just wouldn't leave, if I just wouldn't go and do, if I'd set aside my crazy notions of adventure and the pull of the world located across the Atlantic, I could remain within these safe, comfortable four walls forever. This thought lingered for about two seconds before I realized that this was a cleverly disquised attack from the enemy. This is a lie from Satan that isn't meant to comfort, it's meant to destroy.

You see, recently I spent four months in a 3rd world country living outside of my American born comfort zone. And I've garned through various conversations since my return that most people, in addition to thinking I was a little nuts, also think that I've gotten the "bug" out of my system. They think I've trotted off to do this thing, did what I set out to do, and now I must be planning better for my future. Surely now I'll settle down, get a 9-5, find a husband, and start a family. And don't get me wrong, this is all very tempting, but this "bug" I seem to have caught is a whole lot more than a 24-hour flu. Instead, it is deep and stirring, its the awakening of a call I believe we are all designed with, a higher purpose than we can conceive within our own imaginations. And it's lasting. This bug is more like an allergy or intolerance that you never grow out of. It requires a complete lifestyle change and perspective shift. No longer can I rest within the four strong walls of my bedroom with all its familiar comforts. In order to really live, I have to not just read these words below, but I have to take them to heart and act on them.
         "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." --Jesus, Matthew 10:37-39

This whole attack on my thoughts comes right on the heels of a pretty big decision I've made for my future. Today I listened to a timely sermon about making decisions and taking action against indecisiveness that stops kingdom growth in its tracks. This further confirmed my decision and as I was pondering the next season of my life and all of the exciting challenges it is sure to contain, that is when the devil decided to strike. Funny how he does that. But this is no laughing matter. Sure I could choose to remain in my world and my room in America, and maybe I could live a successfull life full of generous giving and security. But that deep stirring desire for more, that thirst for something holy could never be quenched by settling. So, I'll go.

Don't let the devil cheat you out of God's divine purpose for your life. Trading your unique role in His kingdom for Satan's false promise of safety and security in a chaotic world that he is not in control of anyways makes no sense.

With love,


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Be Free

I don't know how you feel about tattoos, and for the record this post is by no means meant to encourage anyone to go out and get a tattoo. (Disclaimer?) But recently, I got my first tattoo. What do you think?

You might be wondering why in the world I would get the two small, seemingly insignificant words "be free" permanently tattoed on my body. I'm assuming, of course, that the Africa outline makes a little more sense! So let me explain...

When I look at this tattoo:
1) I am reminded that I am free in Christ Jesus.
          "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." -Galations 5:1
2) I am reminded of my Uganda team. "Be Free!" was a common phrase among the members of my team. We exercised freedom with each other through open and honest conversation and actions. Yes this sometimes meant expressing hurts, annoyances, joys, and craziness!
3) I think of the need for Christ's freedom to reign supreme in Africa, and I make it my prayer.

Welp! There you have it. These are the reasons I have permanently inked my body. And today, nearly a month later, I still LOVE it!!!

In case you're interested, I have a few updates on life as of late. Today I start my last semester of my years as an undergraduate college student. This pretty much means that as far as life plans go, I have a solid plan through...December when I graduate for the second time. After the first of the plans. Yup! Sounds realllllly responsible doesn't it. ;) Don't worry though. God has a plan and He is working it out in me. To give you a heads up, I may actually know my plans for next year. I'm not ready to reveal them quite yet, but here's a hint...

...they involve Europe, leadership, missions, Spanish, French?, community, growth, direction, and of course God!

I'm also currently teaching a bible study class with the youth at my church on Sunday. I'm mentioning this because after some of the prayers I heard come out of those kids mouths today, I'm guessing you're going to be hearing more and more from me about Sundays at JWC (Jonesboro Worship Center). These kids have some AMAZING gifts and a phenomenal call on each of their lives and I can't wait to explore those more throughout the rest of this year. I just get the feeling I'll be "dwelling in hope" through them for a bit, and I couldn't be happier about it!

Until next time...Go in peace! ;)