Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lessons Learned from Jet-Skiing

  HI! It's been a while. I shared a lesson I learned from my ski trip so I thought I'd share one from jet-skiing as well!
  I went boating and jet-skiing with DLA on our last weekend there. A few times I went jet-skiing with other people. A couple of times I went by myself. I thought I wanted to drive myself more than I wanted to go with other people, so that I could be in control of the jet-ski the whole time. The first time I loved it. I enjoyed the freedom I had, speeding away and doing whatever I wanted. However, it ended up being a little boring by myself. I've realized, life is better when you have other people to enjoy the journey with.
  Anywhoo...I learned something from my rides with friends. When you jet-ski and you aren't the driver the safest way to stay on to jet-ski is to hold on to the person in front of you. In my case I hugged them as hard as I could, because I didn't want to fall off. God was showing me after how my life with Him can be like a jet-ski ride.
  When you are the passenger you can't see so well where you are going. You aren't the one directing the jet-ski. You are just along for the ride. You have to learn to trust the driver. And cling to the driver because without their support you just might fall off. just like we have to learn to trust God. And cling to Him for dear life.
Lake Ogallalah
  On the ride you encounter ups and downs. The water doesn't stay the same and your ride changes with the waves. Sometimes life takes you up. Sometimes you crash back down on the water, and it hurts a little. Sometimes you think you know where the ride is headed, or where you are going in life, and then all of the sudden you take a sharp turn to the right or left and everything changes. The change doesn't mean the ride isn't fun anymore. It's actually more exciting when you don't know what is going to happen at all times. Our relationship with God is to be the same way. We don't want the same experiences all of the time. We want to move and grow with God. We want excitement. And He wants to give it to us. :) He wants to show us a wonderfully wild life. He has BIG plans for us. Bigger than we can dream up!
  Also, I felt the safest when I was leaning in, when I wasn't on my own. God wants us to feel safe in His arms. In His embrace. Do you want to live life on your own strength, with your own plans, or do you want to lean in to ALL that God has for you, and experience a wild and crazy life along the way?? You choose! :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

In the meantime....

A beautiful KS sunset. ;-)
  I've been back in Topeka for 2 weeks. I think I am finally adjusting to this all. :) It took me a bit. So many times in the last week I would look off to the west and be disappointed because there weren't mountains. I just honestly forgot where I was. We don't quite have mountains here in KS.
   I am still trying to figure out exactly what the future holds for me. I am beginning to get a picture of it and it excites me. 
   I wanted to share with you something God laid on my heart at the beginning of the year. My pastor spoke on the life of Abraham and how he lived:

 "By faith Abraham, 
when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, 
obeyed and went,
even though he did not know where he was going.
By faith he made his home in the promised land
like a stranger in a foreign country;
he lived in tents,
 as did Isaac and Jacob,
who were heirs with him of the same promise.
For he was looking forward to the city with foundations,
whose architect and builder is God."
Hebrews 11:8-10

   This is what I felt God telling me - that I am to live my life the same way, as in a tent. Whether I stay or go is up to God. My house is not my permanent residence. Rather wherever God calls me is where I need to be. Whether I am there a year or five years. Coming home I had decided I was not going to be back in Kansas for an extremely long amount of time because of that. On top of that I didn't quite want to come home.
   So my first day back I went to church. Someone came up to me and asked how I was. I told them great but I didn't really want to be there. They told me something profound, yet so simple. "Wherever you are, be all there." It doesn't really matter where you. The fact is God has us in one spot for a reason. We need to find out what the reason is and focus on that. Not anything else.
    I am here in Topeka. I don't know everything yet that I am supposed to do. However, in the meantime.....I'll be all here! :) Wherever you are at in life, I challenge you as well to be all there!! :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Goodbye Colorado.........

My last view of the mountains...if you can even see it. ;-)
  I'm done. DLA is over. I am back in Kansas. I stayed in Colorado for an extra week to spend more time with my friends and family there so it didn't quite sink in until Sunday morning when I got up and went to church in Topeka. This was SUCH a hard transition. I felt like I was being a brat about moving back to KS. I told God SO many times that I wanted to stay in CO but He chose to call me back to KS. SO I tried to play tug-o-war with Him. However, He knows best. I knew it too and that is why I followed Him back here. The last 2 weeks have been some of the hardest weeks of my life, but also the most rewarding. The last Friday I spent in Colorado I went to the Mill, the college service at New Life Church. The sermon was about......contentment. I had to laugh when the preacher started. Oh, God sure has some funny timing skills.

 "...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need,
and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry,
whether living in plenty or in need. 
I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:11-13

  No matter where God has us in life, we can choose to be content. Content: to be happy with one's lot; satisfied. Yes, sometimes it takes work to be content. Life doesn't always pan out the way we want it to. However, God is there with us always. So what can we have to complain about? This is what I've been learning lately. To fight for contentment. Ask God to give me the strength to find joy where I am at. Maybe you are pretty content with where you are in life, or maybe you need to ask God to give you the strength to do what He is calling you to, to live where He is calling you. Ask Him. He'll help you. :)
  These past few weeks have also been so great because God is continuing to romance me. He's really opened my eyes to how much He loves me. It's crazy! And the crazier thing is that He loves you just as much as He loves me, but it doesn't interfere with His love for me. He gives His devoted attention and love to each of us separately and individually. Ahh...Jesus! He's just so Wonderful!! :) How is He romancing you today?

I took a trip back to 7 Falls with my mom & Ariel when they came to visit for my graduation.

America the Beautiful Park. Appropriately named.
This is from my graduation night. These are a few of my girls that I got the incredible chance to minister to over the past year! Love them!!

Graduation party at my house = SO much fun!
  So....this is the part where I show how God romances me. I've been wanting to visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs before I left. I tried to find some people to go with but it just wasn't working out. I randomly brought it up again with some friends spur of the moment & we ended up getting to go. God is so great...and perfect in His timing! :) I went with some of my favorite Colorado friends. :)

Rachelle, Marisela, and Lindy-Joy

Giraffe's might be my new favorite animal. So beautiful!
We picked a rainy day to go to the zoo. It rains seriously every Wednesday. Ha!
There is a really cool castle looking building up at the top of the zoo.

View from the top of the castle. On the mountain.

All of at the zoo on a rainy day. ;-)
Mini-golf with Amanda & Maya - a couple of my jr. high girls.
 Another example of God romancing me: I wanted to visit Denver one last time because I just really like that city. A friend asked me to take her to the airport so gladly I said yes! Well, we had ourselves an adventure. Marisela & I walked around Denver, got lost and were offered drugs, then proceeded to wait on the steps of the capitol building until our friend Austin could come rescue us. Quite a scary night!

Mari & I on 16th Street in Denver!
Denver's capitol building
 One of my most favorite ways that God romanced me spurred on this picture. If you have paid attention to past posts I climbed up Pulpit Rock one day. Well I wanted to visit one last time before I left but I totally forgot to ask anyone to come with me. I was going to climb up right before I left the city Saturday. The night before one of my friends suggested we go on a late night hike up Pulpit Rock. I hadn't asked anyone, except for God, and He gave me a great group of friends to go with. Ohhh...I just love Jesus SOOOOOO much!! :)

Me, Lindy-Joy, Sean, Marisela, Shilo, Rachelle, and Austin up front.

  I love Colorado SOOOOO much and I am forever grateful to God for allowing me to live there for a year. It was probably the best experience of my life. I made incredible friends and I received incredible amounts of healing and growth from God. Jesus took me on the adventure of my life. And it's just beginning!! :)