I used to be a compulsive journal-er. Most nights I would pull out a journal write all my unfiltered thoughts down, subsequently keeping a record of who I was that year and all the things I was learning. I did this throughout all of high school consistently, and during many seasons of college but in post grad have lost this slightly quirky introspective habit. Back then I needed it as a way to process and hear from the Lord, and right now I don’t- I find getting quiet works a lot better for me in this season, but I miss what those journals created. I love looking back and seeing a clear register of things the Lord taught me during so many years of my life. I still want that record, so it’s going here on the inter webs. Not in a journal format but in a list, and not really for anyone but myself. The writing will be messy, slightly boring but definitely honest. Without further ado- things I’ve learned Fall Semester 2017
- the importance of doing what is right in front of you –
In my faith, in learning yoga, in my classroom, in friendships. I tend to focus a lot on the next right thing, or how I can take steps NOW to get to where I want to be later. But this semester I’m realizing if I just focus on what is literally right in front of me there is plenty of work to do and I can hear the Lord best. In my faith I get to walk into a room and ask God his will for me, practice discerning his presence and guidance with each moment I’m in. In yoga I learn to be present where I am, and focus only on myself for an hour, only on the mat in front of me and only on staying present- not on accomplishments, other people, or what I’m going to cook for dinner. In my classroom I’m learning to pay attention to my kids, put them first above all else, and take each day as it comes. In friendships I’m learning to cultivate the very very very good gifts I have in my roommates and friends in Nashville, and not to focus on the fact that so many of my college best friends now live far away. What is RIGHT HERE is my mission field and I’m learning to be faithful with it. God has entrusted me with each moment, and the only place I can walk with him is inside of it. With this I’m also learning….
2. how to slow down
In learning to live in each moment I’m learning to cultivate a slower walk, a “new cadence” as my friend so wisely called it. Back in May, my friend Shannon prayed a new cadence over my life, and this season I’ve gotten to try it out. I’m used to doing life with God, but definitely at my own pace. If my life was a boat for most of it I had God on the ship with me, but ultimately relied on myself to steer, map, and raise the sails for the speed I saw best. I have a tendency to move full speed ahead constantly in pursuit mode- seeking good redemptive things in the name of the Gospel, but missing the whole point of active surrender and trust in the hear and now along the way. This seasons different. I’m learning to spend more time listening, waiting, not moving until I have direction from the Lord and trusting that he’ll move and work in his time and he doesn’t need me to make anything happen at all.
3. the holy spirit actually wants to walk with us, in wildly practical life-giving life-changing ways
This right here, is the big one. I spent last spring learning about the Holy Spirit in fresh new ways and then spent the summer and fall actually trying to put it into practice. It’s changed my faith and my life and right here and now I hear from God more than I ever have before because I really BELIEVE the power that raised Christ from the dead resides in me and I get to use it every minute of every single day and that is WILD. I always believed in the Holy Spirit as the presence of God on earth, and I knew he was with me in a vague sense but now I’m learning he’s with me in a very real way if only I have eyes to see and ears to hear. The spirit wants to give gifts that would change the world if we accessed them and I am allllllll about it. Galatians 5:25 tell us to “keep in step with the spirit” and that’s what I’m learning to do. I am still very bad at it, but it feels wild and exciting and for the first time in a long time I’m actually JAZZED about being a Christian for the rest of my days in a passionate, energetic sense and not just a pleasant calm grateful one. This semester the biggest way I’m leaning into the holy spirit is in prayer. Bold prayers for healing for people, praying out loud as often as I can with my roommates, personal prayer as a new way of practicing intimacy with the Lord. A few times I’ve felt the spirit’s prompting to pray for a stranger, but I got too nervous each time and didn’t.
So this is me at 24 and about 2 weeks. The fall taught me a whole lot and I’m boldly walking into this next year of life claiming Isaiah 61. I really believe THIS will be the year of the lord’s favor and I’m excited to see it and participate. I’m feeling like 24 is the year to proclaim all this good things, and I know God is asking me to be louder about all he’s doing, essentially to lose my chill for the sake of his fame and glory. So 24, bring it on- I’m excited to see what is next.