Monday, July 25, 2011

Nathan and Caitlin already celebrate their one month anniversary tomorrow! It was such a beautiful wedding. So beautiful that they are being featured in a bridal magazine. Only those two, only those two. If you haven't had the chance to see the photos, follow this link and enter "cnw" as the password! There are a million pictures. And yes, I did look at every single one.

I have been loving summer as of late. Swim lessons are so much fun for me, and even though my job can be scary and intimidating at times, (that would be lifeguarding-wise, of course) it has grown me in so many ways. Between getting to know adorable little kids and seeing their progress as swimmers, bonding with staff members, improving my lifeguarding skills, and turning 10 shades darker, (no exaggeration) I have really grown to love all of it! Plus, I've discovered how much I like working with kids! I never knew!

The Lord has also been so faithful. He is always faithful, but when I become vulnerable to the world I stop seeing just how faithful. Slowly but surely, He has truly been helping me achieve a genuine joy and confidence that is of Him and His spirit; not of this world, and not of my flesh. I am learning not to live season to season, but rather take my relationship with the Lord and thus my relationships with others one literal minute at the time. I went to Metro community groups last night for the first time since winter...and what a blessing. Convicted, challenged, encouraged, uplifted. It was a beautiful reminder to sit among believers and realize that we are all humans with worries and struggles, but as a body of Christ, we can persevere and pursue righteousness and hope and truth together. The Lord didn't intend for us to go through life alone, and I am so grateful to be doing life with Him and those who love Him. [Corporate] fellowship is something, quite shockingly, I have let slip completely, and last night was the perfect wake-up call to be involved once again!

I hope your summers are going so well, even if there have been those moments where direction is not present and life seems like it is one question mark after the other. I encourage you to surround yourself with believers who will wrestle and grow through life with you, because it becomes such a beautiful mess once experienced.

Happy Monday!

OH! Huge ps! I am going to Sacramento Magazine tomorrow to receive a tour and interview time with the editorial editor. I get to ask questions, wrack her brain, see what this whole magazine world is really like, and hopefully open the door to a potential place of volunteer work or internship. Exactly what I have wanted to discover more since Christmas break when I decided journalism might be the route I once again want to travel down. :) God is so good!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Crossroads. They happen so often. Some are minor, others major, but no matter what, they involve a decision that at the time seems to carry the weight of the world with it. When we were little, our biggest decisions were as simple as whether we were going to get a hot lunch or bring a cold lunch, or whether we wanted to play on the bars at recess or tackle a game of four-square. As we get older, though, it seems that these crossroads happen much more frequently, and the path we have to cross only gets larger. Decisions have more consequences, both good and bad, and those decisions no longer only effect the immediate context; they effect the bigger picture that is, essentially, our life. 

The summer months always seem to bring these decisions, too. Thoughts about the future attack our minds, disorganizing the nicely, previously compartmentalized thoughts that we stored away during the school year when we 'didn't have time to think about them.' Now, though, our purpose goes beyond our schoolwork, beyond our classes, and I think that in some of us, like myself, we temporarily lose a piece of the identity that has been shaping us for so long. We are students, and we have been for 15 years, but when summer hits, it's like our thoughts are cut loose to explore all those areas we ban from the months of August to May. For three months we are not students, and our lives do not revolve around deadlines and events and classes. We get a small dose of the real world before we go back to a comfortable routine that is so engrained within us, it's almost like culture-shock when we don't have it.

My thoughts have been world-travelers since school ended. They've taken me to a crossroads where I must choose what I really, truly want to pursue in my education, and if that means I must make a decision I can't even fully process yet. They've led me to ponder why I chose to do what I'm doing this summer, when essentially I was not ready (that has been my not-so-small dose of the real world). They've had me redefining what family means as I grow older, and what it looks like to cultivate those transforming relationships. They’ve had me up, down, and around every nook and cranny of my mind, reminding me that they want attention, too.

The crossroads we encounter are usually blessings, but they so often appear as curses first. As time goes on though, it is the decisions we make at those crossroads that help shape us into who we are. Right now, I feel as though I have been in a huge transition, although I don’t really know what I am transitioning from nor transitioning to. I have been wracking my mind all summer trying to figure it out, to find some direction, but all that ends up doing is leading me to ten different crossroads of thought, when I am only supposed to be approaching them one at a time.

If there is one lesson I am being taught, it is that decisions and choices and change are all disciplines that require some trial and error. Whether the Lord has me cross a particular path before I feel I am ready (which actually means I am ready, but just scared) or He has me wait patiently while he prepares me to cross, I ultimately need to learn to give it up one thought, one action, and one road at a time.

(Wedding-Dinkey Creek photos/post to follow) :)