Tuesday, January 31, 2012


So the current name of this blog is NOT my first choice. I wanted to name it "Heart Soul Strength"(coming from my favorite Bible verse), but...someone had already taken it... You can only imagine my disappointment when I went to heartsoulstrength.blogspot.com to find that the person had only written ONE post since starting it in 2010! I'm trying not to be rude, but I really think I could have done the blog more justice than they have.
Anyway, since I brought up Heart, Soul, Strength I'll go ahead and talk about it! It comes from Deuteronomy 6:4-9, which is actually an extremely popular prayer for the Jewish religion, in Hebrew it is known as the Shema. The section reads,
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
I first came across this verse when I did work crew at the Young Life camp, Timber Wolf Lake. As a group, we memorized it in Hebrew (I don't know if I could still do it!) and it really made an impact on my faith. I realized while reciting it that month, serving campers their meals and helping with different programs, my faith doesn't need to be kept to myself. I don't need to hide it when I'm in the company of those who don't share my faith. It was really refreshing to know that His commandment is to go out, shared it with whoever I meet. My love for Christ should be known to whoever I meet!
Working at Timber Wolf Lake, both in high school and last summer, I have been blessed to meet people who have taken their love for Christ to all ends of the world, hoping I can do the same. It is my hope that I continue to know Christ and learn of His love as I continue down the road.
I love that this speaks of loving the Lord with all my strength. Sometimes it's hard to love what Christ is doing for us in the moment. But to love Him with all that I have, in my heart, my soul and with all my strength, means trusting that the hard stuff will pass and He had his reasons. I know this past semester was a true test of trusting God's plans and tested my strength in faith but now, I am celebrating the gifts He has given me. He has given me a new found appreciation for my parents and family, a confirmation that I can live on my own, and a great love for friends back home and new ones here, who have supported me more than they will ever know.
I can't wait to see what God has written in His plans for me this semester, it has only been 3 weeks back here in Fayetteville and I am already loving life! The beautiful weather, easy class schedule, and a better outlook on life have contributed to a happy Abby lately!

Oh, and today I was was accepted into the Ghana study abroad program for this summer, an answer to my prayers!