Monday, October 24, 2011

A Chance Encounter.

This past weekend I spent the weekend in lovely Santa Barbara.

Yup. Those are indeed sexy Frenchmen playing soccer. Oh la la.

We partied on State Street, Laid out on the beach, ate good food, shared lots of laughs.

But that is not what stood out to me.

It was a person.

A encounter. A moment in time.

Our day started at the Farmers Market. A mix of locals and tourists, enjoying the beautiful scenery. Everyone is friendly to one another, polite and friendly. But something is off.

You see them on every corner. But no one pays attention to them. The homeless. No one acknowledges them or even offers a passing glance.

It was obvious that some of these people were drunk or on drugs.
But then I saw her.

Her face was warm and kind. But the lines in her face told of a life that was met with trouble. She held a simple sign: 'Anything Helps'

Another homeless person trying to take advantage of my sympathies?

I looked at her and at my turkey sandwich clutched in my hand. And I heard a gentle voice..

'Go to her.'

I have never heard God's voice so apparent. Usually in this type of situation, I would wrestle with God.
'I'm not ready!'
'What do I say?'
'I am not equipped...why me?!'

I would try to justify my cowardliness.

But none of that happened and before I could even think I found myself offering my sandwich and sitting in the middle of a busy street talking to her.

We talked for a good five minutes. But in those 5 minutes, I learned so much.

Her name was Dina and she had been on the street for a couple of months. She has been laid off and had no family. I asked her if she had been staying in the shelter but she told me that the shelters were full of drug addicts and alcoholics and that she was trying to be clean. Overcrowding was another issue.  I was enticed with her story but I was whisked away. I just offered her a quick goodbye and told her that I was going to pray for her.

Could she be lying to me? I don't know. But the tone in her voice was honest and full of brokenness. As I sat there talking to her about her life, I could see the pain and the hurt in her eyes. Maybe i am too nice or naive, but I think that something like that cannot be faked. 

All through the day, Dina ran through my mind. I regretted not praying for her. So many 'if only's' raced through my head.

Later that night. I saw Dina again.

Immediately I ran to her and took her hand and prayed for her and told her how much she was loved by Christ. The look in her eyes said it all. Something sparked inside her, I could see it.

Seriously. What the frick. God moves in crazy ways. Months ago, I would not have the courage to share the gospel with anyone. Let alone a complete a stranger.

On the way back I began thinking about the homeless and what is like to live through each day thinking it may be your last. Living to just survive. Hopeless. What is it like to live everyday with that mindset?

Now imagine living like this and not knowing the gospel. Death must be a terrifying thought. Dying with no one, no home, and no hope.

Once again, God is turning my worldview upside down, slowly revealing things to me in his timing. I am thankful for this opportunity to grow in Him..

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


vul·ner·a·ble (v l n r- -b l). adj. 1. a. Susceptible to physical or emotional injury. b. Susceptible to attack

For the past few months, every so often, I have times where I wake up and my heart and spirit just feels 'heavy.' I do not want to be around anyone. I avoid forms of social interaction and when I am forced to have interactions with others, I am not myself. I find myself being judgmental, harsh to those around me. I get frustrated with myself for acting that way. I would ask God to rid me of these feelings and repent from all my judgments and go to bed and the next day I am fine. 

When I noticed that this became a pattern. I realized that this was possibly an attack from the enemy himself. It made sense, I have grown so much in my relationship with the Lord in the past year alone of course Satan hated it and was doing everything to discourage me. Whew. Glad to have that one was over.. all I had to do was ask God to help me right?

Flash forward to a couple of days ago. I was having another one of those 'heavy' days. A friend who I highly respect and love asked me how I was doing. I was honest with her and told her that I was not doing alright..but I would soon get over it. I made it seem like no big deal and quickly tried to turn the conversation in another direction.

Then, she she dropped the bomb.

'Rachel, I have noticed that something different about you. You're isolating yourself. What is really going on?'

The sincerity in her voice was clear. That's when I lost it. The feelings of heaviness that I had been bottling up had finally exploded. I broke down and told her all that was going on within in my heart. In that instant I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. In that moment I felt loved and cared for. It was an amazing feeling.

I have realized that I'm still struggling with being transparent with others and learning to receive.

Why is this? There are many factors. Fear. Pride.

According to webster, vulnerability allows us to be open to attack and pain. 

But what it doesn't mention is the beauty of vulnerability. It allows us to heal. It allows us to be loved by God and others. 

So if it is such a beautiful thing, why am I afraid?

Fear of rejection. Feeling that I am not worthy to receive love from others. 
These are obviously lies which I am still in the process of overcoming. 

So what do I do now?

Take Risks.

I know that in this season of my life, God has put significant people in my life. People who are willing to invest and walk alongside me and even carry me in my times of struggle. The risk is letting them do this and not push them away. I have to tear down these walls that I have built around me and be vulnerable. Receive the love, even when it feels strange and uncomfortable to me. Trust that God is doing his good work in me through this process, being faithful to him always. 

The struggle that I have with receiving love from others reminds me that I still have a lot to learn in how I receive love from God. When it comes to being vulnerable with others, I am afraid because I don't want to be 'messy' with people. But I am seeing that when we allow ourselves to be messy with others, it heals and restores us. The same with God. We must come to him fully exposed with all our baggage then when we allow him into our brokenness, that is where the real healing begins.

How can I love and minister to others if I do not allow others to love and minister to me?

The girl just needs to learn how to RECEIVE. 

Shoot dang, Ain't that the truth?!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The one on GREED

A YOUNG WOMAN fumbles with her purse. Her heart is heavy. It is apparent in her face and overall demeanor. She seems troubled, yet hopeful. She sees the USHER with the offering plate walking closer to her. She tries to move more swiftly. The internal struggle is obvious. She finds the crumpled dollar bills. The offering plate is placed in her hands. She shoves the dollar bills into her purse, takes the plate and passes it on.

This seems like it could be a scene in a film. (Obviously, it is written in script format.) This happens everyday. This happened to me.

This past Sunday in church, we were wrapping up our series on 'Matters of the Heart' this week's topic was the dreaded G word. GREED  Listen Here.

I thought 'How many times have I heard this one?!' 'Giving to the church is important...I get it!' Nevertheless, I listened attentively, hey...maybe I would learn something.

After service when I was talking to some people about it I was a little angry. The sermon focused so much on giving of finances and not our time, etc.

Here was my thought process at the time:
-'We as Christians can be greedy with our time, not just our money!'
-'I make it a priority to invest my time in others, my church, etc. I AM NOT GREEDY.'
-'I have no job or income. I cannot give like God wants me to.'

In the sermon, Pastor Kyle talked about how there different types of greed. Most of the time when we think of greed in our lives...we envision this:

He's mean. Brash. Heartless.

Yeah. It's true, we have encountered people in our lives who are 'Scrooge McDucks.'
But greed can come in other forms, like this:

I look like a fool in this picture, mid-laugh and all.  It's obvious that greed can be covered by the most light-hearted and fun exterior. But nevertheless, I came to the realization that I am one greedy---shut yo mouth!

Let me explain. Pastor Kyle made a really good point about how we are so quick to spend on ourselves. But when it comes to helping others or giving to the church, we become so hesitant and make excuses not to give willingly and freely.

How many times has this happened to me. I have a opportunity to give to a missionary, my church, or a worthy cause. I give, but I give LESS than the bare minimum or I do not give at all.  But when it comes to spending money on myself, I give no second thought when it comes to feeding my own needs and desires.

I am all about investing. I love investing in others lives. I make time for others. I willingly and freely give time to God. I thought I was doing a good job. I was doing enough.

I began to reflect on my current situation. Living on very fixed income. No job. Graduating soon. Jobs are not coming my way. Schedule is packed tight. Do I have time to make income right now?

Then I began reflecting on the past. When I did have a job. I gave. But it was certainly not the 10% or more. It was certainly not the first check I wrote out.  I always gave God what was left over, if any.

'What an idiot.' I spent my money on myself, feeding my selfish desires. Thinking about it sickens me.

So what now?

I want to be able to glorify God with my finances. I think we can let our circumstances get in the way of that. The fear of the unknown cripples us, because let's face it, money does in fact make the world go round.  I know that I should give freely and willingly, I desire deeply to be able to do that. But then reality sets in. 'If I give this much, how will I____?'

This is where faith and trust steps in. 

Right now, I am in place where I am limited with my finances. But I can still give. I want to give. I need to give. It will just take budgeting, self-control, and lots of trusting and relying on God.

When the time comes when I actually have a real job (whether that comes sooner or later) I want to be able to give to God. I pray that in this season in my life, he will equip me with the things in order to learn how to do it effectively.

But what is encouraging, is to know that I am not alone in this. I know many other brothers and sisters younger and older than me who struggle with the same exact thing.

Please pray for me friends.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

1.1 The One Where Rachel Learns Patience..

Everyone episode of the sitcom 'Friends' is titled 'The one....'

And since I feel like my life is basically a sitcom, how appropriate is the title of this post?

But this is where the similarity ends. Oh how I wish a resolution could be reached in 22 minutes or less. But life is never this easy, it is never fair, and in some cases a resolution is never met.

I have struggled so much with being patience with the process that God is doing within in me. I so badly want to have everything figured out and have my 'ish' worked out. I foolishly think if I have these things in order, I will be happier, smarter, etc. While that is true to an extent. It is all about the process.

I am usually a person who likes to have everything figured out in advance. I like to know where I'm going and how I'm going to get there. Having patience with God especially when it comes to the future is hard.

So God has been revealing things in my heart concerning the poor or just stepping out in love and minstering to those different than me. The big question I find myself constantly asking is

'Okay, God what now?'

It's really a frustrating process. I still have no clue what do with this. This is where patience comes in. God is working things out, revealing things to me in HIS time. I can only be responsible for what he is revealing to me. Instead of focusing on what God has yet to reveal to me, I should be focusing on the things he has shown me at this point in time and taking practical steps make do with the things provided and TRUST that he will provide the opportunities in his timing.

Patience in the process.

This sounds like something that I should have learned a long time ago. It's so simple. But I'm learning. In the past week alone, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me. Before when I thought about all the questions I had, I would feel anxious like I was trapped, hopeless, overwhelmed. But as I am learning to have patience in the process,  I am okay not having everything figured out. I am only responsible for the now..make the most of it.

Lately I have been wrestling with the idea of sanctification. Not wrestling with my belief in it, but the beauty of it and how no matter how much it is hammered in my head through theology classes, sermons, or leisurely reading. My mind is blown every time. EVERY. FRICKIN. TIME. It never gets old.

Last night I was reading a devotional and it was talking about sanctification.
Our lives are really messy. We have stuff that we constantly have to work out with God. Part of my problem is that while I am in a firm believer in 'the process' I forget that I will never have everything figured out or 'fixed' while I am here on this earth.

Sanctification is a life long process that is never completed until we met with Christ face to face.  God is just starting his good work in me and it will be a process until Christ comes back. This definitely puts things into perspective.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Heart: Restored

How do I even begin? So much has happened in the past 36 hours alone. So many events, significant conversations and interactions. Each one so unique yet they all connect in some way. I am sitting here still trying to piece everything together.

It's a God thing. Plain and simple.

Context first.

If you have read my blog before (Hello to the 5 avid readers!) You know one of the things I am currently wrestling with is how do I share Christ's love to the poor. What does it look like in my life and what steps do I need to take? How can I overcome my fear that cripples me to loving the poor and those different from me? Where does this fear come from?

All these questions plagued my mind yesterday afternoon and was left dumbfounded and wondering how God would work this out in my life. I was frustrated with myself.

Flash forward a couple hours later. I come home tired and all I want to do is sleep. But God didn't want that for me yet. I ended up having a good conversion with a friend about the poor. She was telling me about the experiences with the poor and homeless. She was telling me how people would look down on her for simply loving the poor. But all she wanted to do was get to know there story and understand where they are coming from. I was completely floored thinking. 'Dang, this girl is ballsy.' I know that I could not do what she was doing. I have had experiences where I was challenged to do the exact same thing, but because of my fear, I took the easy way out and quickly gave someone money, said a half hearted 'I will pray for you' and left never making eye contact. Sometimes I did nothing at all.

We also talked about as a society we dehumanize the poor. I realize that we may lend a helping hand once in awhile, volunteer our time for a good cause for a couple hours. But sadly, I think that most of the time our motivation is fueled from guilt that we feel. And we selfishly do these things to make ourselves feel better. We think if we do this one thing, it is a physical evidence that we care for the poor. But is that love in our hearts? Do we really love these people? We are no better then them. The tables could be easily changed. They are just like us, with a unique story.

You see even though God has been breaking my heart for the underprivileged, it means NOTHING if I do not put ACTIONS with what God is calling me to. I feel that God has given me a compassionate heart, but when he has given me blatant opportunities I run away like a coward.

Today I asked God to give me more opportunities to love and that he will stretch me through it. Because I am human, my instinct will be to run and retreat to what's easy. I pray that God will give me the strength and courage to obey and do what is right, It will not be easy and I will at times stupidly try to justify my disobedience. But God is working it all out in time. Obeying God is hard work!

It's so crazy how God puts people in our path to speak truth and wisdom in our lives. What is even more insane is His timing of it all.

I have been thinking about how God has been breaking my heart in multiple ways. It has been a messy process and at times it hurts like hell. It forces me to look at all the heart issues. And sometimes it's disgusting. There's pride, fear, disobedience, bitterness, etc. But by confronting these issues, I know that God is slowly restoring my heart.

The past few hours have been intense. I am also seeing how he is moving in others lives and it astonishes and encourages me to know that I have people walking beside me, asking the same questions.

God is GOOD.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm a question mark, a walking, talking question mark.

This week I was conflicted with a simple question.

What do you do when you are angry with God?

I know that its perfectly normal to be vulnerable with God, we can not hide anything from him.  I mean, he knows our feelings before we are even made aware of them!

Recently there have been many times where I have found myself frustrated with God while listening to peoples constant struggles and heartaches. I sat there in total frustration and confusion of what to say. Sometimes telling someone who is at the end of their rope that it will 'be okay' or 'I will pray for you' or 'God has a plan for you.' while these are true just doesn't seem appropriate at the time. Its hard to just sit there in silence and trust that God will somehow redeem their situation. In the moment, I found myself enraged crying out to God. 'Why?' 'Why are you doing this?' 'Why them?'' 'How long will this last?'

I know that God is sovereign and he wants the best for his children. But it still hurts me to hear and personally experience what seems like unanswered prayers or feeling that God is not there.

So what do we do with these feelings? How do we live in these feelings? How do we help those who are frustrated or angry with God? Do we repent and ask God to take them away? Or do we ask him to bring us closer to him as we wrestle with them, relying on him to lead us to a deeper understanding or who we are in him?

I am still trying to figure it out, but I think I'm getting there.

Sometimes I really hate being such a 'thinker.' A blessing and a curse I guess. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Future Freaks Me Out.

So here we are. The end of summer. Where did time go? It just seemed like yesterday that I was at Biola. Living temporarily in a rent free apartment...Being a film kid and spending way too much time on film sets....wanting to cry...actually crying...dealing with difficult actors...dreading phone calls from the UPM or Executive producer...making call sheets...taking way to many BTS photos..going to bed at an unreasonable hour only to wake up  6:45am for a 8am call time. Ah. The good life.

Even though this summer zoomed by and I honestly don't know where it went, it was a very eye-opening one. Unfortunately this summer was marked by the tragedy of the unexpected passing of my grandfather and other struggles. Despite these hardships, I have never felt God's closeness like I have this summer.

In the sake of looking back and are some important lessons I learned (or in the process of learning) this summer.

The importance of Family
I really got to spend a significant time with both sides of my family. And I am beginning to see how important family is. Yes, no family is perfect. In the face of hardship, all those preconceived judgments that you may have don't matter, in fact you find out you are completely wrong. I have been amazed to see how my extended family came together to cope with my grandfather's passing and how through this tragedy God used it to rebuild relationships and open up lines of communication.

Reconciliation/Rebuilding Relationships 
I came to realize that there are some people in my life that I have held some sort of bitterness towards. While I said I forgave them, in my heart I still held onto the past. I've also realized that I, too have hurt people and want to begin to mend those relationships if possible. It's been a very humbling experience to confront these heart issues with God.

Love My Neighbor
The past two months, God has been showing me what my life will look like Post-Biola. It's pretty easy to love your neighbor at a place like Biola. But when you are taken out of that bubble and see the reality of this world, you find that it's really difficult to truly love those around you and see people as Christ sees them. God has been breaking my heart for the lost and those 'forgotten' by society.

God is Calling me to something Deeper...
A year ago, the word reflection just meant what I saw in the mirror. But in the past year I have been challenged to really look at my life (and my past) and see where God is in the midst of it all. With each situation I dealt with this summer....the good ones and bad...I have been able to see God's hand in it. Even though it can be difficult to stay focused on the bigger picture when we face of trials..There were many times I wanted to give up and just go back to my old ways..but I know that God is constantly pushing me to preserve because he is calling me to a deeper relationship with Him. I just have to be willing to take the risk and go there with him. 

My body is God's temple.
Let's be honest. I put on some weight. You and I both know this. I mean being 5' 1" if you gain any amount of weight it SHOWS. So this summer I really committed to losing a couple pounds and most importantly eating healthier and making good choices. For the first time EVER, I actually stuck to exercising regularly and eating healthy. I even lost some pound-age! HOLLER.

One of the things I am kind of scared of: THE FUTURE.

This is my last semester! I should be excited, right? A new semester brings new things.

I am DEAD terrified. I like college. I love what I have at Biola. I am scared of what life will look like after. Where will I live? Will I have a job? Where will I go to grad school?

All these things run through my head, their is no putting it off now, I am 4 months away from graduating!

I have to constantly go back to Christ with this one. God has my back. He will take care of me. Yes, I will probably freak out when things don't go the way I plan/or wanted them to. But that just reminds me that GOD IS IN CONTROL. He will get me where ever he wants his own way...not my own.

Things on my mind as I enter my LAST SEMESTER EVER.

With this being my last semester. It will be a pretty hectic one I'm sure. I have class..internship..a job (hopefully?!) Maybe a social life if I'm lucky. I just hope I will remember to slow down and take in all that is going on. Enjoy each moment.

While at my time at Biola, I have cultivated significant friendships with numerous people. I pray that I will continue to invest in these existing relationships and continue to form new bonds with people in and out of the Biola community.

Yes this definitely sounds like a freshmen thing. But it will be hard, especially because my family is currently in transition to moving back in with my grandmother. A part of why my family is moving back is to help take care of my grandmother, who has shown early signs of dementia. Dementia is a horrible thing and it scares me to think how rapidly it can effect someone's brain. Please pray for my grandmother and my family as they make this transition.

After much prayer and wrestling with God over this, I have decided to pursue a master's in counseling. God has definitely been showing me where my passions lie and I have experienced great joy out of helping those around me and investing in people's lives. Yes, counseling is a total 180 from film, but I trust that this is what God wants me to pursue at this moment.  So what do I want to do with this degree? I want to get certified in marriage and family therapy and maybe work in higher ed ..possibly working in Res Life  for a bit and go from there. But I am just open to wherever God leads...who knows I could possibly just end up working as Goofy at Disneyland and be perfectly content.

So. That's the plan. If you read all this thank you. That was a lot to read.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Theology and Toilet Paper

I will be the first to admit that I can be a little doubtful when I hear miraculous stories of God's provision in people's lives, especially when it comes to material things.  (Getting a check from someone hours before rent is due, etc) I am not doubtful that He can do these things, because He obviously can (Hello, he's GOD!)

I just have trouble thinking that these things can happen to me.

For the past week or so, I have seen God provide for me in ways that I have never seen. Like Material things. What the heck?

Money for school. A new(er) CAR. Job Opportunities. Toilet paper.

Yes. Before you laugh. Hear me out.

This morning in my usual morning fog, I heard someone (i honestly don't know who) tell me we had no TP. 'Great! I can't even wipe my own...(i'll let you figure that one out)' But being too tired, I knew I was pretty screwed for the day, but just went back to bed. Also keep in mind I can't leave the house because my current car is pretty much...dead. (It overheats in the hot sun)

Flash forward to an hour later. Nature calls and i begin to worry of what I will do. I go downstairs to the bathroom and what do I see?

A plethora of toilet paper.

I have never been so happy to see TP! Right when I thought I would have to spend the day toilet paperless and uncomfortable, it seems like TP just rained from the sky.

For the record I don't believe that TP just magically appeared.  But this whole toilet paper 'ish' made me realize GOD PROVIDES. In the big things and the little things. He always provides for his children!

I think the thing is, because of our sin nature, we always want more. We want things we don't necessarily need. And when we don't get these things that we think we are entitled to, we believe that God is not providing for our needs.

For example, I mentioned earlier that I have acquired a newer car.  I have been praying for one for at least the past few years. A year would go new car...etc. Meanwhile my little Honda was getting worse. Then I got a job...I said I would save my money...but alas I was a horrible steward of my money and did not save a penny.

Flash forward to July. I become in posession of money. Then I see a pretty sweet deal on classifieds for a car for $2700. I test drive the car. Loved it. Love the owners. They love me (I think?) But I only had a quarter saved.

Before I ramble on. In short God provided. But it was only when I was willing to surrender my own desires and what I thought I needed and really trust that he would provide. I had to really accept the fact that what I want may not be what he wants. That was a hard pill to swallow.

I have been learning that the process is the best part. If God just gave us answers, we wouldn't truly learn anything.

God provides. Not just in the material things. I look at my life and the lives of my fellow brothers and sisters and see how God is so faithful.

But because I am just a finite human being, I am always forgetting. Sometimes it takes things like toilet paper to remind me just how much he's got my behind.

Please...PLEASE tell me you got that?!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Two thoughts of my brain this week: Reconciliation and the need for the gospel.


'In order to live in reconciliation, we must reconcile our own hearts.'

This past fall, Biola's theme for Torrey Conference was about the topic of reconciliation. I really enjoyed it, I strongly believe in reconciliation. I learned a lot. During each session, I remember thinking, 'is their someone in my life who I need to reconcile with?' I got nothing.

Flash forward 9 months.

This Summer has been a challenging one. So many major changes have occurred in the past month, I am forced to tackle them head on. I am beginning to realize that there are certain people in my life that I say I have forgiven, but my heart still holds onto their words and actions (or lack their of) that hurt me in the past.

I have realized that I have a lack of faith in God when it comes to other people. It's been a struggle for me to think that God can truly transform people. But then I think of how God came into my life and transformed me. I was self-seeking, selfish, vain, prideful, the list could go on and on.

Back to reconciliation. See how scatteredbrained I am?

God can change people. Even the worst of people. He changed you. Me. He has changed this person in my life greatly. We certainly do not deserve it. I have to start extending grace to people, like Christ has given me. I cannot reconcile with people that have hurt me (and vice versa) if I cannot give them grace and let go of the bitterness and hurt in my heart. Because the things that we harbor in our hearts extend to our hands. If we harbor hate, we will extend hate.


For the majority of my life, I grew up in the San Diego's South Bay region. The majority of the people in this region are low-income, come from broken homes, etc.

Growing up, I wanted to get out of this place badly. I hated everything. I thought the people in my community were rude and shady. I was very judgmental.

Then I moved to La Mirada. Definitely a change of pace of what I was used to. But in the past two years. God has been softening my heart. Going back and forth between these two communities has definitely changed me. Every time I come home instead of seeing my neighbors as strangers, I am beginning to see them as Christ sees them, and it breaks my heart.

God is really softening my heart for the underprivileged and those 'forgotten' by society. It's really hard because with the compassion that I have for those around me, I feel guilty because I want to help, but I feel like this task is too big for me.

The need for the gospel is urgent here. I think about the lack of active churches in the South Bay. It frustrates me. The Christians that I do know around here, go to churches in more affluent areas of San Diego.

So what can I do? I am still figuring all the details out. But in time, I think God will help me to be more bold in my faith when it comes to sharing Christ with those around me.

In other news. Summer is almost over. I have so little time and so much I wanna do!

Monday, July 11, 2011

When loving your neighbor is out of your comfort zone.

 Love God? Love People.

ALL people, really? Even those who make me uncomfortable? Annoyed? Even those who scare me?

Today I visited my grandmother's house. I will be moving back there at the end of the summer. I was shocked to see how much the neighborhood has changed in 3 years since i lived there. The people changed, the homes looked different.  It's the ghetto. No I am not messing with you. South San Diego, particularly the area I will be moving back to, is one of the most poorest and dangerous areas in San Diego. Taking a look around, I hear people yelling at one another, I see unkempt lawns, there is broken glass in the middle of the street. I hear music that is way too loud. I could go on and on.

So how do I react to this?

At first I was annoyed and angry. Part of why we moved in the first place was to get away from this place. But here we are again.

Then it hit me. Why am I acting like I am better then these people? I grew up here,  I grew up with these people..I know where exactly they are coming from. What makes me so different? I was disgusted with myself.

I took another look around I see brokenness. I see families that need Christ. I see a community that is in dire need of the gospel.

As much as I am scared of moving back here. I can see one reason why God might want our family back here. To show His love to our neighbors.

I say I love people. But do I really? It is so easy to love when we are in our comfort zone.
When we are in our comfort zone, we have a 'I'm happy so i can love you' mentality. Believe me, I have been guilty of this. It's really easy to love people who are like you. It's comforting, it gives you a false sense that you are truly loving people.

But it's when God pulls away the things we cling on to for comfort (a community, people, titles, etc) that we are truly challenged to genuinely love people and love them in the midst of our own brokenness.

God is pulling me out my comfort zone. He is challenging me to fully love those around me. That means all people from all backgrounds. People with different viewpoints, lifestyles, etc.  Most importantly he is challenging me to cling to him as my ultimate comfort.

This summer has been one of change. If you know me well enough. I absolutely dislike change. I try my best to resist it.

But this is a good thing. I am looking forward to this opportunity to grow in Him. Even though I have grown so much in the past year alone, there is so much more that I still have to learn.

God is constantly humbling me. Just when I think I got it all together. He smacks me across the head and shows me my faults. Boy, are there a ton of them.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Die Social Networking...DIE

 Well this post is a little ironic and awkward.

 I struggled for a long time debating whether or not to blog or not.

I am an avid Facebook-er and Twitter user. I love it. 

But like all things. There is an ugly side to it. 

Why do I choose to share my life with 300 people, whom only half I actually interact with on a regular basis? Like most people, I did it to stay connected with friends and family members. I would say that social networking has in fact helped me maintain relationships that might not have worked out if they weren't just a click away.

But as time goes on, it was so easy for me to post a status or tweet something in order to see the response I would get. The joy that I get when I see that I got a notification/mention/reply is pretty sad sometimes. Yes, I have my moments and have something valid or clever to say. But most of the time my thoughts are only meaningful to me, not meant to be shared with others. This has caused me to become a little narcissistic, I struggle with this from time to time. The reality is a lot of people my age, whether they want to admit it or not deal with narcissism.

So why the FRICK am I doing this?

Honestly? My prized journal is all filled up and I have no money to buy a new one. I'm a unemployed college student, remember? 

If people read this. Great. If I can initiate meaningful conversations? That's even better.

But instead of filling this space with meaningless crap. I want this to be a place where I can process this where God has me right now. I think I am at a place where I am on the brink of transition into the 'real world' (I really hate that term) and I am trying to become the woman that God is calling me to be. It's like an uphill battle. Filled with blood, sweat, and tears. And laughs. Expect plenty of those.