listening to: a lot of county music lately. One of my new favorite song is "Biscuits" by Kacey Musgraves. i liked this one so much that I painted the lyrics on a canvas for our new house. I also like "Little Toy Guns" by Carrie Underwood.
hoping: that these 100 degree days will be over soon and we can go back to the slightly more comfortable 90 degree summer days.
learning: to adapt to my new work schedule. I used to work 3 PM to Midnight, but about two months ago I was moved to the morning show. So now I work 3 AM to Noon. It's taken some time but I think I'm starting to get used to the new schedule and I love that I have weekends off again. I also love that I get to see the sun come up most days!
planning: the big move in t-minus 3 days! I've got lists coming out of my ears of all the things I need to get done between now and then... hopefully they will all get done.
feeling: a little anxious about moving, but mostly I'm just ready to be in my new house.
slacking: in my running routine. I'm not sure if I've shared the news, but I'm running a half- marathon in November. I just need to get back to my running schedule.
eating: a bunch of crap! I'm trying to finish off most of my food before we move and in doing so I've found myself at Chic-fil-A more mornings than I'd care to truthfully tell. Come July, I want to get back to eat well.
What are y'all up to this month?
Last Wednesday evening, a group of people gathered at their church home for prayer and bible study. They entered into that church, in the middle of the week, bringing with them all the burdens that had been placed on them since Sunday. They came to encourage one another and to be encouraged. On Wednesday night nine of those people were shot and killed, and a community was shaken down to it's core.
In working in new, I have found that I can often be desensitized to the death stories we report on daily: gang shootings, car accidents... they all seem to blur together while I'm at work. But this was a hard story to listen to....
my initial reactions:
I was confused.... thinking, "did that really just happen?"
I wanted to wave this in the face of people who insist that racism doesn't exist anymore.
I'm heart broken for the spouses, parents, children and friends who are now grieving the disturbing loss of these people.
But the emotion that burned the brightest was anger! I wanted to shout at the young man who did this and to ask him in what crazy world did he think that shooting and killing people was okay.
It took almost all day Thursday for me to really sort out all of my feelings. And just before bed, as I wondered where God was in all of this, the wisdom of the Hold Spirit revealed several truths that were deeply needed. The first one coming from a devotional I'd read a few days before.
God was, and is, at work.
Even in the midst of all this evil and hurt, the God of the universe is working to advance His Kingdom.
And even though my sinful nature wants to hate the shooter, to look down on him and demand he pay for what he did, that's not the Gospel I've been adopted into.
If I'm really living out this Gospel then I have to love Dylann Roof. Not only that, but I'm called to to pray that the redemptive work of Christ would be fulfilled in his life. I'm called to love him and pray that one day he would repent of his sins-- so that he too would praise and worship Christ for eternity in heaven.
However, it's easy to talk about love, forgiveness and praying for someone who's hurt us on a blog but it's so much harder to live this out in my daily life. So Christ gives a reminder.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
You got a fast car
I've always loved this song. For awhile, when I was growing up, it was like one of my theme songs. How romantic it seemed that one day I would leave town and "finally see what it means to be living." Even as I've gotten older, there are still days when I wish I could just pack up and leave -- go wherever my heart desires... Atlanta, Denver, Seattle.
But what I failed to recognize as a teenager, and sometimes even as an adult, is that there's value and beauty in staying put. When I first moved to Augusta, I made sure it was no secret that I had every intention to be gone within a year. I found myself thinking, "no one is going to trap me here!" Meanwhile, it's been three years and the Lord has given me no signs that He has anything different planned for me anytime soon.
However there are days when I don't want to be an adult anymore. I think we've all seen this picture floating around social media at some point. I think it accurately depicts how I feel after I've had a rough work week and nothing seems to go my way.
There are days (sometimes weeks) when I believe that my life would be made easier if I could pack up and move to a bigger city, had a new car and a better paying job.
But then I remember that packing up and leaving town doesn't guarantee happiness or success. With a big move comes loads of new challenges to be faced. When I think of moving, what I'm really seeking is the comfort of an easy life; an escape from the difficulties, but that's far from what I'll get.
For as many times as I've wanted to pack my bags, I'm thankful I'm still here -- that the Lord has continuously closed doors. Because what I forget in those moments of discontentment, is that 1) life is full of challenges to be faced everywhere and 2) no matter where I go, my God is the God of that place too.
In 1 Kings 20, while the Arameans were being defeated by Israel, they mistook God for a God who wasn't sovereign over all things and places, saying this:
"Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they..."
As I read this I thought, how foolish of them to think that God was only the God of one place. But in my folly, I too am guilty of the same sin. I often believe that lie that God is only good, loving and sovereign in one place or another, that He is bound by the things that bind me.
I'm sure we've all heard the saying, "bloom where you're planted." It's something I heard over and over when I first moved to Augusta, and for so long I've been afraid to put down roots -- to trust that this place was exactly where the Lord had called me.
And in my sinful thinking, God has come to meet me; reminding me that this place to which He as called me is good and that He sees my needs and meets them in ways I don't always understand. As I become more aware of the ways in which the Lord has provided I have an increased reasons to put my trust in Him. Which means I'm free to allow Him to plant me firmly in Augusta-- or to move me to Atlanta, Denver or Settle -- because He is the God of all places.
In this season of life where I feel like I have a million things to complain about, the Spirit of the Lord has also brought to my attention a million and one things of which I can be thankful.
I had the wonderful opportunity to share this post over at Hot Tea And The Empty Seat with Katie! Katie loves the Lord and has a deep passion for displaying His love to all. If you haven't been over to her blog yet, I'd suggest it as a great place of encouragement!
twenty-something, daughter, sister, friend, follower of Christ, lover of all things media. welcome to the journey girl trying to find her place