The Process of Discovery: First Half of 2014 in Review

In two days, it will be June, halfway through 2014 as we know it. I have spent the last five months in a whirlwind of settling and resettling, excitement and tumult, joy and tears, entry and re-entry, leaving and arriving, movement and rest.

So far, 2014 has seen me setting foot in four countries and three states. I’ve flown in eight airplanes and taken at least nine other types of transportation. By next week, I will have packed up and moved (in various capacities) over ten times. I have been a teacher and student (and graduate), traveler and homebody, leader and follower, roommate, housemate, friend, sister, daughter, volunteer, packer, organizer, and writer.

(I know I’ve been slacking on the “writer” part!)

Last December, I chose to make Discover my OneWord for 2014. While I am enjoying spending some time focusing on discover, I find that the word hasn’t hit me the same way grace hit me in 2013. Believe me, discover showed up in Thailand, both in print as I arrived and in my daily interactions of discovery, as I did those very things I thought I could not do.

Maybe, unlike grace‘s consistent appearance in songs, books, and conversations, discovery is showing up more in my attitude. Maybe instead of hitting me over the head like gracediscover is being embodied and grown inside me. Maybe it’s a gentle process of discovery… imagine that!

My next adventure, and one that I am loving so far, is leading an 8-week online Bible study group with Good Morning Girls as part of their “You are Loved” study. (Enrollment ends tonight, if you are interested in joining!) As I gear up for the study with the 14 or so ladies who are joining me online, I am praying for discovery. I am praying that these ladies and I would discover more about God than we knew before the study. I pray that what we discover would shape our lives and our interactions with others for the better.

Also before me is the adventure of moving to the city where my dad and stepmom live with two good friends. We are living in their home for a while, looking for jobs, and settling in post-graduation life, whatever that is supposed to be! Thanks for your prayers, everyone.

You Know You’re “Growing Up” When…

  • You can justify spending less time in the junior’s section and more time in the women’s section. Unfortunately,  the junior’s section is too scandalous and the women’s too dreary.
  • You have to figure out what size you are in women’s clothes, like pant suits and fancy dresses.
  • You’re not sure whether to shop in the “teen fiction” or the “fiction” section at Barnes and Noble, but you can’t find what you’re looking for in either place.
  • “We’ll let you know by the end of the week either way” turns into “You might be lucky to get a letter in the next week or two.”
  • You have to buy your own food, even at home (if the family is not going out or if you don’t want to eat your brother’s Beefaroni).
  • You choose to eat the Beefaroni anyway.
  • You have to cook your own breakfast at your grandma’s house, but thankfully, you can use her Keurig machine for free.
  • You are mildly obsessed with money, getting a job, and affording things like a car and an apartment, but you are entirely unmotivated to apply for jobs.

Keep on keeping on, fellow graduates! We can do this.

During Freshman orientation, a speaker once told us to take a deep breath, relax, and say to ourselves: “This is a good idea.” By the time classes started, we were repeating: “Relax… This is a good idea!” After graduation, a friend’s Facebook status recalled this moment and reminded us that four years of college were, in fact, a good idea. We discovered, by the end of our college years, that God had been providing for us all this time. As we begin the next stage and move on to a new chapter, I say it again:

Relax… this is a good idea.

August in Review

August has been a really crazy month for me. I lived in three states, visited ten states and the District of Columbia, spent time in two countries, worked two jobs, slept in ten beds, ate everything from microwavable popcorn to calamari, drove too many hours to count, packed and unpacked and repacked and forgot something every time, and finally, somehow, ended up back at college to begin my senior year.

I don’t know how it happened – I just know that I am here. Believe me, part of me loves the thrill of adventure, the excitement and calculated risk of trying new things and doing something crazy. However, when I first got back to school, I went to bed around 9pm every night because I was just so exhausted and felt so out of control. It took a couple really great chapel services, some time with God, reconnecting with old friends, and even tearing down a closet door to re-center myself.

Adventure is really fun and I believe that everything I did this August and this entire summer was a benefit to me personally, but I am also reminded that I am so introverted that I have to be alone to recharge. It has been nonstop for weeks upon months now, and I’ve learned that I must rest! I have to use precious time, like the weekends or a spare hour here or there to be by myself, to workout, to read, to eat or have coffee with friends, to sleep.

I was made to glorify and enjoy God forever. Sometimes in my pursuit of service for Him or enjoyment of His gifts, I forget Him. Let me remember that resting in God is where I get my strength to do everything else he has called me to do.

If you fall into the need-time-to-recharge-or-I-might-die category, go do it. Don’t think that you can somehow be okay by ignoring your innate needs to be alone or to do nothing for a time. Rest is good. When we recharge with God, he will give us what we need to keep going.

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.

– II Thessalonians 1:11-12, NLT