Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dessert With the Dixons

This is the Los Guido group from when I went to Costa Rica this past summer. Third from the right is Tracey Dixon. Tracey and her husband live in Costa Rica with their two kids and they are doing ministry work there through Students International. I had a great time serving there with them and I was able to form great relationships with them, as well as everyone else on the SI staff. Anyway, they've been home in the US this past month, traveling around to see their families and visit their supporting churches. Last night I was able to attend "Dessert with the Dixons" at a church in Visalia and I got to talk to Jeff for a while about things going on in Costa Rica. I was encouraged to hear that the tutoring center in Los Guidos is doing great and it's booming with kids! There are a few tough things going on there (as there always will be...especially when God calls you to do something for Him), but overall the report was very positive and it sounds like God is doing some awesome things there and He's going to keep on using the Dixons and the rest of the SI staff to shine his light in Costa Rica.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Contentedness. (Is that even a word? Beware: Bumblings Ahead.)

"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future." -Ecclesiastes 7:14

I'm generally a very happy person. Right now I'm just flyin' high on life...just 'cause it's so good. However, almost everyday I find at least one or two small things to complain about, one or two small things to put a mild damper on all the goodness that God has given to me. Case in point: engagements. Have I mentioned in a blog yet that everyone I know seems to be getting engaged?! It's insanity. Then I get insecure because I have no prospective men, but here's the catch: I don't WANT a prospective man. Not yet at least (obviously someday I DEFINITELY want a prospective man). I had a possible guy, but I wasn't really content with that because as much as I love hanging out with him, I didn't really want to date him quite yet. At the same time there was part of me that was trying to force myself to want to date him in case he wanted to date me just because I want some sort of security to know that I won't be single for the rest of my life. Sorry...are you following? Hopefully I didn't lose ya! Then the other day he said that he wanted to "slow things down a bit" because he needs to focus on school and sports because he's got some great aspirations that he needs to be focused on in order to reach. When he said that, part of me (most of me) felt a huuuuuuge relief because I can still hang out with him without trying to force something that I didn't want to happen yet anyway, BUT the other little part of me began to panic as the numbers of engagements continued to grow, my chances of dating someone decreased. Ok...see, I'm so indecisive. And I have such a hard time being content.

Here's the thing: God is good. I'm reminded of that nearly every morning as I see the sun above the gorgeous mountains and everyday as I witness the many blessings that he's placed in my life. He put us on this earth to be ambassadors for Him and we came here with nothing and we'll leave here with nothing. This is our temporary home, so technically we're not supposed to be content. We're always supposed to yearn for something more because we weren't created to indulge ourselves in worldly wealth; we were created to live for our Heavenly Father. We should never be content with our life here on this earth. We should be content with the life that he's given us and the things and people that he's placed in our lives, but as far as reaching for more and more and more when it comes to the things of this world: we weren't created to do that. For years I've wanted nothing more than to be able to sing these words with real truth:

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

I've been singing that song in church for years, but I never truly meant it. And I can honestly tell you now that I still don't always mean those words, but lately I've been finding myself being able to say, "God take me. Have me. Fill me. I can't do anything to change the stage in life that you have me in right now, but please just surround me with your love and place your spirit in me," whenever I start to feel discontent. It's tough sometimes, but I know God will walk me through every stage of life and I know that only He can satisfy. And although I won't always feel content or be please with the roads He takes me down, all I can do is lean on Him.

(ps. apologies if there are typos...i'm too tired to proofread this)

Monday, January 18, 2010


I know that the New Year is all about the "New You" and "New Resolutions." I had my list of resolutions (see two posts prior to this one), but I didn't feel like there was anything "new" about me. I still felt like I was going through the motions and I just felt exhausted. Absolutely exhausted. I wonder if my new year just started half way through the month of January? This past weekend I have just been hyped up on life and I can't even really explain why. I hung out with my family, I hung out with my cousins, I got another job (this will make for an insane life, but at least I'll be able to go shopping now, right?!) and in a sense, I feel like I've gotten a new burst of energy and a sense of rejuvenation. It's all so fabulous.

This is short...I know, but I just wanted to share how juiced on life I am right now. I'm not sure if it even really has anything to do with what I just wrote, but this verse keeps popping up in my head so I'll leave it with y'all before I go to bed. It's from Psalm 55:22 and it says, "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Psalm 19:1

There's something about the mountains that just completely mesmerizes me. They show the majesty of God like nothing else and I love it. Creation just screams that our Father loves us so dearly. I was watching TV with a friend last night and something involving atheism came on on the show that we were watching and he said, "I just don't understand how anyone could think there isn't a God." I don't get it either, Dev. Especially not on days like today when his complete holy and pure workmanship is displayed for everyone to see.

This morning I was sleepily driving to work (3 hours of sleep never goes over well for me), just sort of going through the motions and hoping that I'd be able to stay away long enough to make it to FPU without fall asleep at the wheel, let alone a full day at work. I pulled up to the main road (I live quite close to the foothills and the mountains, but you'd never know thanks to the lovely Valley air) of my neighborhood and I had to catch my breath. The air was clear and you could see the mountains so well that it felt like I could just run over to them. The sky was grey and dark with rain clouds, but yet the sun was shining only across the mountains. Somehow, that beautiful view, that minor glimpse of the glory of God, completely lifted my tired spirit and rejuvenated me for the day. It was awesome! All day the mountains were in plain sight and a verse came to my mind immediately, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of his hands." -Psalm 19:1

So true. And again, I don't understand how people can say that there isn't a God when all of creation screams that our Savior loves us so dearly.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Scatter-Brained New Year

Happy "Twenty-ten!" It's crazy to think that another year has come and gone. It's also crazy to reflect back on this past year at all of the things that have happened. Today I had praise team practice for church, but during practice I realized something: I was actually having fun. Why? Because I wasn't the one in charge of the service!!! Exactly one year ago, I had jumped on board at my church to be the "worship mediator," for lack of a better term. I tell ya was a roller coaster 8 months working in that position. For the most part, I hated it at the time; however, today I was stuck in the middle of being so glad that I was done with the job and of being a little bit sad because I missed a lot of the people that I worked with at church.

That thought led me to another train of thought...I feel like I spend too much of my time looking back at things that have already happened or looking forward and trying to plan my life and what is to come. I need to stop and I need to live in the now. Not only that, but I need to enjoy it as well. Time flies and I have to embrace the position that I'm in right now. Obviously other people struggle with this too, as I can think of at least 3 songs off of the top of my head that relate to this topic. "Don't Blink"-Kenny Chesney, "You're Gonna Miss This"-Trace Adkins and "Every Moment"-Joy Williams.

A year ago, I had just permanently moved back home from BIOLA and I was kind of regretting my decision at the time. Now I'm going to school at FPU and I'm absolutely loving it. I couldn't be happier where I'm at right now (I still miss my BU friends, of course.) There's a season for everything and God's got purpose and meaning for everything that happens. I hope to trust in that more firmly this upcoming year as well.

And one more "a year ago." A year ago, "ring by spring" was kind of a joke. Now: I'm not laughing. So far, on average, every week at least 2 people I know are getting engaged. And not to each other. It's more contagious than H1N1. I'll let you know when it catches me. That might not be for a while though--as in yearssssss.

And now for the resolutions. Yes, that's a plural. These are in no particular order or fashion.

1. No more soda. (I've done it before, but I returned to my addiction the following year.)
2. Exercise more. (I know this is everyone else's, but really...I don't have high school sports to keep me in shape anymore. It's kind of unfortunate.)
3. Run another half marathon this year. (Good news: I did one last year, which means this CAN be achieved!)
4. Become a better Christ-follower, especially when it comes to reading his Word.
5. Wear cute pajamas more often instead of just sweats and a tee shirt. (Idk, I read it on some website and it inspired me. I literally said, "yeah!!!!" out loud when I read it.)
6. Read for pleasure, not for school.
7. Take more risks. Live in the now.