Another week means another beach party and of course another round of beach photos.
This first picture is of Meg and I, who is also a Kappa Alpha Theta at the University of Idaho, it’s always special to meet sorority sisters from other places, and it's so awesome to get to be sisters in Christ as well!
This is another group shot, from left to right it me (obvi) Dillon, Meg, and Austin!
If you’ve been reading my previous blog posts, you know that one of the things I’ve been struggling with is learning how to be missional in settings that push me beyond my social comfort zone.
Because of this, something that stood out to me during Sunday service, as we continued through Luke 19, was that every single one of us has gifts and talents that God has given us that we can leverage to farther His Kingdom. Hearing this was reassuring because it put into perspective that even though going out and walking up to strangers isn’t my strong suit (i'm continuing to work on it), I still have the ability to reach and let people hear who Christ is in other ways.
Sometimes it’s hard to recognize your gifts though. Because they tend to be things that come so naturally, it's easy to not see them as unique because you've never considered that it could be hard for others. When I was sitting in church, I was encouraged by this, but a felt at a loss of what mine could be. I prayed that God would allow me to see what my gits were and how I could use them farther his kingdom.
Later on, I called my mom, and she mentioned how many people back home were reading my blog. Without her even realizing, God was using her to answer my prayers as she mentioned how I’ve already been using something I love to do to share how God is working in my life with all of you. It's ironic that because our gifts come so naturally to us, we sometimes can't recognize them for what they are. It's amazing how God worked to answer my prayers through a simple conversation which also gave me encouragement in areas that God knows I needed.
I’m so thankful for every one of you who are still reading and keeping up with my blog. It’s given me so much joy and encouragement to hear how God is using everything from my adventures and struggles to bring glory to His name; it has been so beyond worth it. I hope whether you’re reading to see what adventures I’m going on or to see some pretty awesome San Diego sunsets you feel encouraged of how awesome Jesus is and the amazing things he can do in anyone's life when they simply start saying "Yes" to Him.
Last week, coming from a place that was very drained and discouraged, it’s also been amazing to see how a community can help call you out and recognize when you're not yourself. At the beach party, I had a friend approach me and check in with me. It was encouraging to know that even when I don’t feel like it (I’m learning that feelings can lie) people do care and consider me a part of their lives.
Since being down here, I've also felt as if I haven't been doing enough or haven’t been “Christian enough.” I’ve been seeking change in my life, but I've been trying to force it and do it all on my own because I’ve been worried I’m not becoming a new person in Christ “fast enough.” I believe that God has been showing me this week to lean into his plan for me without thinking about what my journey looks likes compared to others.
He has been working on my heart to believe what my mind already knows, that you can’t spend time with the Lord every single day, and actively seeking him without Him transforming you. To believe anything else is denying His power and ability to transform your heart and your life. Since working through this, I have been able to find so much more joy and rest (even at 6am or 11pm) by spending time with him in his word and through prayer because instead of worrying about what my time spent will do for me, I’ve focused on how it brings glory to God first.
This has allowed me to reshape my mindset and heart posture towards devotional time (and everything else in our crazy schedule) and realize it for what it is, an opportunity to spend time with Christ. This week our weekly reading modules focused on rest, meditation, and taking a Sabbath. We were asked to plan out our schedule and be intentional about making a day to spend with God to rejuvenate from the week. I think this was an important reminder of how important it is to be intentional in your rest and it was a good tool to help manage my time and not feel so overwhelmed.
Because I’ve started working more, I haven’t had opportunities to explore San Diego as much, but it makes me appreciate the time that I do have so much more! On Wednesday (fam night), we decided to go to Mission Beach! It was my first time going and was more touristy than the other beaches which means there was a lot to explore (they had a roller coaster!!!) (And slushies!!!) Afterwards we built another campfire and enjoyed each other’s company for the rest of the night.
This week has been full of so many answered prayers and questions, and I feel so ready to take on week five where I know God is going to continue His work in me. As always, I appreciate you checking in.