Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The love that let us share our name

**This was a post I wrote while flying home from San Francisco, and am just now getting to posting it, enjoy!**
"Always remember that there's nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name."-The Avett Brothers

Have I said how grateful I am for my family? In all of my social work classes we learn about the importance of a social support network, comprised of family, friends, peers and mentors. I can attest how much easier life seems to be with such a great group surrounding me. 

I don't have any coffee in my hand, I think the number of lattes I had this week will compensate for my current lack of caffeine. I am on a plane while writing this listening to all sorts of music, mostly Mumford and Sons and other acoustic bands like the Avett Brothers and came across the lyric that I started this post with. It couldn't have come at a better time because I have been thanking God this entire week for surrounding me with such a wonderful family. 

Dad planned an INCREDIBLE trip for our family, that could have only been made better if Kelley had been able to make it. We got to visit with cousins Lauren and Ted and his wife Jess, see God's beautiful creation that is California and celebrate my 21st year on this Earth (thanks mom for what you went through 21 years ago!) 

I wonder every once in a while how I got to be so lucky. It still amazes me the wonderful, undeserving gifts God has given me, starting with my family. I don't have the answer, and to be honest I don't think I want to know how I got to be so lucky because then I wouldn't have moments like this, sitting in an airplane where I can't think of anything to do other than to praise God. He has provided me with motivation to love and to share His love because I can feel His constant love. 

It breaks my heart knowing there are people in the world unaware of this unending love. There are people that don't have great sisters, cousins, parents, and friends. It is my hope and constant prayer that I can reach out to a few of those in my lifetime. I guess I try and always appear in the image of Christ to show those who might not yet know that God's love that it is near. 

If I can love my children half as much as my parents love me, they will be the luckiest children in the world. They will have incredible aunts as well. Most of all though, if I can show my future children the unending love of God, I will never be afraid they won't be immersed in love.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

God has the roadmap, I'm just trying to follow it.

Last week I tried really hard to post. I took my computer to the coffee shop, I was listening to my favorite Christian songs, I had a great cup of coffee and I had my Bible. I had a few things I wanted to mention, but I couldn't put it into words. I sat there like a fool for an hour with a blank page. I would fill it up every once in a while and then select all of it just to delete it. It was another one of those moments where God was telling me, "not yet...something better will come of this." So, frustrated, I finished my coffee, put my headphones back in and walked home. An hour seemingly wasted, with no blog to share.

Then this week happened. God was right, I have something to post about.

Let me start by saying I have a great friend and mentor in my professor from my trip to Ghana, Dr. Andrea Arrington, the woman I speak of in this post. She has come to know me as someone who likes a plan, and reminds me that I don't always have to have one for the next 10 years. This week I went to her saying that I tried really hard just living in this semester and year for what it is. Her advice was to take classes I wanted to and not think too much about the future. That lasted about 6 months...then my planning mind got the best of me. I told her that and she laughed, she knows me too well.

God has been playing with my heart lately, putting a new idea of what my future holds in my head. Before this week I hadn't voiced it, because I didn't know if I had the courage to follow what He had planned. I had been asking people for prayers of courage to follow Him, but I hadn't found that courage...not yet.

I finally said it out loud to Dr. A. I wasn't sure the path I was taking to become a school social worker was the right one anymore. I wasn't sure it would allow me to utilize my African Studies minor the way I want to. I wasn't sure going straight into grad school is right for me. I was scared that by doing so, my trip to Ghana was going to be that one time I went to Africa, not the first time. I was scared that it would be too hard to change my focus this late in the game though, that I should just keep going with at-risk education because that was what I had been doing for the past 3 years. I have opportunities lined up in that area, I have a heart for it. What God and what Dr. A reminded me though, was that I also have a heart for Africa. As cliche as that sounds, had I not gone to Ghana last summer I would not have discovered how many opportunities are out there for me to stay connected to Africa.

So I made a change of heart. I listened to God. I talked with my mom that day, the best mom in the world, and told her about my scary realization. It was scary for me because it strayed away from any plan I had previously made for myself. My mom reminded me though that God has His arms wrapped around me. As scary as this new plan is, He won't let me fall. If I had this feeling on my heart, He put it there for a reason. She reminded me that I'm not giving up on at-risk education/social work, that opportunity will always be around. I am simply listening to God's voice.

After some tears, and lots of talking it out, I am taking off on a new direction. I'm not 100% sure what direction that is but one of my favorite quotes- "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." The road I was on was taking me to at-risk school social work, the road I am on now is headed towards international social work. God has the roadmap, I'm just trying to follow it.

Thank you Dr. A, mom, and dad for getting me to voice what God placed on my heart.