Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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One Year in Florida

Today marks a year since my dad and I drove across the Alabama-Florida line and arrived at my new home. A year since we unpacked my car and placed all of my boxes in an empty room. A year since I had a meltdown as I sat on my unmade bed and couldn't believe my dad was leaving the next day on a 5 hour flight away from me. A year since I started a completely new chapter.

I can hardly believe it.
What do you write to sum up a year of emotions, challenges, blessings, and Jesus? It's impossible, unless you wanted to ride the roller coaster with me all over again. So instead, I am going to use this time to focus on what is happening now and what is to come.

I have been abundantly blessed this year with ministry. Not only has my idea of "ministry" changed and grown but also my opportunity to take part in it. Since finding my new church family in April, I have been able to jump right in to serving. So much so that I have run out of time in the week to feel like I am doing ministry well. So after much prayer and talking with my Media boss at I-TEC, I have decided to take Fridays as church ministry days. It is my time to work on media projects for church, plan my lessons for children's Super Church (I have taken over the first service for 1st through 5th graders), practice the worship music for Sunday, and really study my lessons for facilitating a women's bible study group. It is a very full day indeed. But such a blessing.

Another way that ministry has expanded is in the evenings, after I get home from work at I-TEC. I recently started attending classes at a gym and I can see God really bonding me to the other people at this small Karate Dojo where the people are like a family. It has been incredible to be a part of this group where I have an opportunity to shine like Jesus. It's about time I had some non-Christian community! Especially since my church is across the street... that's pretty much my Jerusalem (Acts 1:8).

A third and really huge way that my definition of ministry has expanded is in relationships. Before, when I was interrupted by a conversation or an unexpected interaction with a person, I would feel unproductive. Now, I welcome those moments when I can focus on a person instead of a task. Building relationships at work, at the store, anywhere... that is truly ministry. Time to truly pour out on and receive love from people. This is a part of my journey with the Lord that I have been loving recently.

In this month of reflecting on this one year mark, I have thought many times about the massive amount of gratitude I have for you all. Without your support none of this would be possible. It would not be possible for me to work in missions with the freedom to take Fridays off, to spend time building friendships during the day, to serve wherever God is calling me. You are the team that makes my ministry able to grow and expand and become something new every day. Thank you for being faithful to encourage and uplift me. Thank you for being well... amazing.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Let's Be Real...

Let's be (slightly sarcastically) real... there are a lot of things we as single people get to do that others cannot. To make you more grateful for your singleness let's take a look at some of those things... with some selfies thrown in (because that just makes sense for a post about being single)...

1. Netflix binges. The other Friday night I was sitting on my couch thinking, "I should probably go to bed, that would be the responsible thing to do." Then, I realized I had no reason to be that responsible! So I watched another three episodes of "Top Gear UK." And I was content.
This is Mexico in the World Cup but still a TV binge.

2. Sleeping in. I love going to bed one day a week without setting an alarm. For some reason my body is like a teenager's and I can sleep for days. If I had another person in my room I wouldn't be able to sleep off my "Arrow" binges till 11 in the morning.
How I feel when I don't sleep enough...

3. Eating cereal for dinner. How many married men want their wives to say, "I don't want to cook and I am not that hungry. So I am going to eat cereal, and maybe some chocolate, for dinner"? Not many. So I happily eat whatever I want for dinner while I am still only responsible for my own food. 
Maybe onions are more your style... still not a complete meal.

4. Running around like a headless chicken. While I can, I overbook my life with ministry, friends, church, and the gym. Because I can! I don't have a single relationship (other than God, mind you) that I have to focus on daily. I see my roommates and friends a lot but our friendships are not affected if I sometimes only see them for ten minutes a week. I am basically free to fill up all my hours with things I love to do.
Selfies work with other people too. Out to dinner for Emma's Birthday.

5. Traveling. I love it. And sometimes at the last minute I find myself planning trips to places because my schedule is mine. We really need to realize how cool that is. To do what we want, when we want (within reason) on a whim. 
 Amazon Jungle!? Yes.

I totally understand that things like spontaneous trips to the beach, marathons of TV shows, and eating only a pile of veggies for dinner can be done (or even improved upon) when you are dating/married. I am just grateful that I get to do this all the time now.