Wanderlust: noun; a strong innate desire to travel the world

I’m not sure if this happens to everyone, but sometimes I just have those days where the last place I want to be is in a classroom. No duh. That’s probably the struggle of most students. But, I just want to be out in the world. Well, that’s pretty vague, you say. Yeah. It is. But it’s true. I want to see everything that this great big world has to offer. See all the ways Jesus is moving in every corner of the globe. Enjoy His beautiful creation. Make some new friends. Learn from them. Work side by side with locals to make a difference. Be challenged. Experience it all.

I mean, I guess this isn’t surprising. You’re reading the blog of the girl whose room is covered in maps and asked a co-worker today, “Do you ever just get the urge to start speaking Spanish?” lolololol. She said yes, but who knows if she was just being nice or not xD.

And some days it’s challenging. I mean, the idea of spending time in another country vs. actually doing it is a huge deal. I’m sure when I go study abroad, I’ll be this weird mix of excited/nervous/horrified/ready/all the other things. And also don’t get me wrong! These last semesters have been a lot of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I’m surrounded by great people who challenge me and make me laugh 24/7. I’m so glad to be at a school that is preparing me to go out into the world.

But that’s not the point, I guess. The point is that God has given me a dream. A dream to go to the nations, learn from them, love people, and share who He is with them. Some days I’m really scared and some days it’s just bursting out of me and I can hardly keep it inside. The point of this seemingly pointless blog post is to say: “The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your callings.” God has given you a dream for a reason. It probably seems too big, but that’s so you’ll have to rely on Him more fully. It’s scary. It’s exciting. But God is in control. He wants to use you. And isn’t that awesome?

“It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible.” -Katie Davis

I’ve Got the Joy Joy Joy Joy (and Also a Poem)

J   O    Y 

I remember once hearing a little ditty

I think to sing it you start,

“I’ve got the joy joy joy joy

Down in my heart” 

It’s just a child’s song

But for real I think it’s totes defs cool

Because Christ is in me

I can dance, sing and run like a fool

 But happiness is not here to stay

Sometimes it’s here and sometime’s it’s not

Christ’s joy gives me strength to face each day

Thank you Jesus that joy is in you 

Refreshing us daily like early morning dew

You’re gracious and loving and merciful too

I’m not good at poems, so this is all done now . . . phew. 🙂 

Soaking up El Sol

This weekend, we were reminded that the sun does indeed exist! Even in Houghton! It’s a miracle! You’re probably having a hard time imagining just how excited we are about this. . . think about it this way. We had our first snow in October, and I’m pretty sure it snowed in April. Needless to say, anytime it’s even remotely sunny or warm, we all react really enthusiastically with blankets on the quad, sunglasses, shorts and lots of ice cream (well, we eat a lot of ice cream all the time, but you get the point).

Despite all the homeworking and papering that needed to happen this weekend, every chance to be outside was awesome. The snow has melted, the sunshine feels wonderful and God’s creation is beautiful.

This weekend reminded me of God and His promise to make us new. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold the new has come.” And God isn’t finished with us. He’s continually shaping, molding and stretching us to be more like Jesus.

So as you enjoy the beginnings of spring, the melting trees, the blooming flowers, the butterflies (!!!), be reminded of all that God is doing in you and through you, and be sensitive to how He may be challenging you, that you may become more like His son.

Happy spring! 🙂

IMG_4251

IMG_4266

IMG_4299

If Christ were …

If Christ were only a cistern, we might soon exhaust his fullness, but who can drain a fountain? – Spurgeon

More than Enough

32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,and all these things will be added to you.

-Matthew 6:32-33

Seek first his Kingdom. 

His Kingdom. 

First.

“It’s that crunch time of the semester.” I feel like I’ve been saying that for the last month, at least. But nevertheless, it’s still crunch time. There’s always something to do–whether it’s a paper, some reading, class, a meeting. That being said, there’s plenty of things to chase after in this life and plenty of things to be concerned about. Good grades, relationships, material things, etc. And while most of these things aren’t necessarily bad, I’ve found that in my life they can easily become distractions.  I gotta do this. And now this. Ah, panic. Go, go, go. Not enough hours in the day. The struggle is pretty real. It’s easy to seek those things: success, approval, or whatever, instead of seeking the Lord and knowing Him more.

In Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us not to be anxious about anything, or what we will eat or drink, because we can trust that He will provide these things for us when we are pursuing Him. 

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” He provides. 

Amidst all this craziness, I’m reminded the importance of being intentional about taking time and prioritizing to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness– in a way that everything else should pale in comparison. That is, really chasing after God with everything inside of me, more so than I’m putting into anything else. And sure, the ways I do the other things can and should be glorifying the Lord. But through everything, how can I learn more about Jesus, be more like Jesus, be stretched more by Jesus? 

If we say God is our goal, our highest, our utmost…our actions and our time should reflect that as well. Worrying about all the other things is meaningless. Reflect on the beauty of Jesus’ promise in Matt. 6: when we truly seek the Lord, everything else is added to us as well. Challenge yourself to trust that seeking His kingdom first is the best place to be, and pray that Jesus would show you what it really means to seek Him. And revel in the truths that Jesus is sufficient. He is enough. Everything we need is in Him. 

Here’s to hoping you had a wonderful Monday 🙂 

Eyes, Hands and Feet

“So you’re waiting, even if you don’t quite know it, waiting for the moment when you realize that you really are different to them; that there are people out there…who don’t hate you or wish you any harm, but who nevertheless shudder at the very thought of you–of how you were brought into the world and why–and who dread the idea of your hand brushing against theirs. The first time you glimpse yourself through the eyes of a person like that, it’s a cold moment. It’s like walking past a mirror you’ve walked past every day of your life, and suddenly it shows you something else, something troubling and strange,” (Ishiguro 36).

I’ll be honest, a lot of the time in honors, when we read the novels and watch the films, I’m just like. . . what even is this? I see no point/this is ridiculous/what were the professors thinking? However, every now and then, we talk about something or read/watch something that makes me think and feel things and be stretched in a really awesome way. I’m working on our novel for this week, Never Let Me Go, and so far. . . it’s a bit trippy. But I found this quote, and the only way I can describe it is: profound. It made me stop, think, reread it, and think some more.

It made me really think deeply about how I go through life. . .how do people feel when they walk by me? Do I look at the people I walk by in a city as people? Or just the landscape around me? This quote challenges me to pray for Jesus’ eyes when I’m seeing people. . . to practice what I preach. . . to pray that Jesus would help me to be His hands and feet.

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

-Luke 10:25-28

 

 

 

 

Nuggets.

In response to the WordPress Daily Prompt

Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

 

a.k.a. here are all the cliches and nuggets of wisdom that I thought would be good to write about here 😉 

 

John 3:30 “He must increase, I must decrease.”

Never be too busy to have a conversation with someone.

If you need some chocolate milk, get yourself some chocolate milk. (The same principle almost always applies to popsicles, ice cream and cereal) 

Stop. Pause. And take a mental picture of what’s going around you. 

Ask yourself, “What would Jesus have me do?” 

Sing (even if you’re tone deaf) 

Frolic when appropriate. 

Learn something new. 

Joy. 

Ask people how they’re doing. 

Smile at people. 

Take time to pray about *it*. 

Laugh at yourself.

Go on an adventure. 

Laugh at yourself some more. 

Make funny faces at your friends.

Never be afraid to ask questions, the worst someone can say is “No”

Try to make your friends laugh in class. 

Try something new if you can.

Love Jesus through your words and actions.

Love people. 

 

 

 

 

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

For Spanish class, my professor has us take turns bringing in songs. They can be any kind of song: pop, children’s, worship, anything you want. Today someone brought in a worship song. Hearing worship in other languages always gets me excited, because it reminds me of God’s sovereignty and omnipresence. I love how God is over everything, and that includes language, culture and country. He can reach people wherever they are, in any language they speak. 

Some of my favorite experiences while traveling have been visiting churches. Despite not being able to understand everything (or sometimes anything) that is being said, there is nothing like being able to feel the Holy Spirit move. It’s an amazing thing to see people praising the One who made them, in their own language. Jesus is so awesome. 

 

 

What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet” -Romeo and Juliet

I’m here tonight to say that yes. Sometimes there are things that are very wrong with names. Words. Words that make you cringe because the word is just weird. Words that you read, and you’re just like…can’t you pick another one?

English teachers always ramble on about synonyms and vocabulary and what not, but honestly, that’s not very fun. I can feel the groans and sadness of middle school and high school days when we had to take out those horrible little vocab books…ugh, definitely don’t miss that. However, in the midst of this paper-filled semester, I’ve begun to realize that maybe they were right.

1. The Thesaurus app on my laptop is literally my bff when I’m writing essays. No joke. 

You want to write, “Interesting,” you say? Not interesting. You wrote that five lines ago! You risk sounding lame and tacky and repetitive if you use it again! AHA! Thesaurus app. Interesting? No way! Try: compelling, fascinating, riveting or captivating! Perfect. Carry on with your essay-life, and expect everyone to think you’re at least 10x intelligent than if you had only written “interesting.” Because we all know the key to intelligence is to disguising your doubt with large vocabulary words. . . . . .

2. There are words in the English language that I hate more than anything.

Enjoy reading some of those here-

Hate:

Moist. Unless you’re referring to the chocolate cake you baked me….please, not moist.

Crusty. Just no. I can’t think of anything “crusty” that is even remotely appealing.

Saturated. Sweat. Saturated fats. EW x6,098,287,283

Ointment. It just implies fungus or the rubbing of an awkward cream of some sort…..why would you want that?

Saturated with ointment, despite her crusty toenail, her foot felt rather moist.

ISN’T THAT THE WORST SENTENCE YOU HAVE EVER HEARD? I am not okay with it. At all.  I don’t think I ever will be. If you can combine those words into a pleasing sentence, be my guest. Prove me wrong.

I mean, anything is possible. One time my classmates and I all fit “fresh from the womb” into our essays. So moral of the story, when you’re writing your essays, keep your Thesaurus app just a couple clicks away, and keep your saturated-moist-crusty-ointment-toes far, far away. xD

 

 

*Ka Pow!*

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

So, I’ve probably bragged on this enough already, but I’m basically just real real real really excited. I declared my major today! I’m a double major in International Development and Spanish, and also have a minor in missions. Most of you are probably like, what’s the big deal? (Indulge me for a second, here. It’s my blog after all ;)) For me, I love reflecting on the things God has done and a lot of the lessons He has been trying to teach me have been related to the struggle every college student faces, “what do I do for the rest of my life?!” The fact that I’ve come to a point where I can declare and feel peace about it, is a testament to His faithfulness, goodness and provision.

The ways that God watches our path and numbers our steps is truly amazing. Whether it’s the small things, like having a certain conversation, or making some kind of big life choice, my mind is always blown when I think I have things down a certain way and then *ka pow!* God is like, I know you really well, and this is gonna be awesome, so let me take over. Man. So good. So so good.

Watching Him use the people around me is a blessing as well. I’m so privileged to get to know and learn from the people I call my friends who are gonna do great things for the God we serve.

So be encouraged. Our God is living and active and working in the lives of His people. And He is immeasurably more than anything we can hope or imagine…and He is doing immeasurably more than we can ever even guess.

 

Also, I really hope that it was the fact that this blog is titled “Ka Pow” that you wanted to click on this. 😉

Happy Monday 🙂