Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bingo Realizations

As I've shared on here before, I help facilitate Bingo at a nursing home on Saturday mornings with members of my former church. When I was collecting the cards at the end of the hour yesterday morning, one sweet old lady looked straight at me and told me that we (the volunteers) had no idea how much it meant to them (the residents) to have us come each week.  Between that and the sweet man who couldn't seem to win a round of Bingo but just really wanted to pick out a Beanie Baby aardvark prize for his grandchild, my heart is still full from yesterday morning.  

I sneakily gave him the stuffed animal after it was over. Don't tell the other residents- they like to follow the rules. ; )  

Boy, did I need Bingo yesterday.  Being there, combined with encouragement from some people I love dearly and an awesome blog post by my former roomie that halted me the other day, brought me to a realization.

I didn't do a very good job of trusting God last week.

I'm quick to blame it on any number of things-- stress, others not following through on commitments, being too hard on myself,  etc.  But when it comes down to it, I was giving in to worry and my own feelings of inadequacy, and placing WAY too much importance on my little worldly cares.  I lost perspective.

Looking around the nursing home dining room at the residents, in their 70s, 80s, 90s, I was suddenly aware of how they were once my age too.  It probably doesn't feel so long ago, to them.  This life is merely a vapor.  We are here and gone.  In five years, will the things that were stressing me out this week matter? Doubtful.  Will they in 50 years?  Certainly not. 

Wherever we are right now in life, God certainly has a purpose for it, and He equips us to use all of our experiences, including the hard ones, for His glory.  And that's what we're called to do as Christ's followers. Not to make a big deal about our never-ending to-do lists, the stresses that no one else can possibly understand, and our own self-importance.  No, we are called to make a big deal about God, pointing our lives to Him so that others will know Him also.  

There is so much "noise" in the world competing for our attention and our time, lies right and left that distract us from God and His truth.  But He knows each of us specifically and intimately.  He loves us and prevails in spite of our stubbornness, pride, and insecurities.  He is, and was, and is to come, for all of eternity- beyond our comprehension.         

In Jenna's [slightly edited] words, 

I'm thankful for the reminder that the weight of the world isn't on my shoulders, that the Kingdom coming has very little to do with my lists and emails, and that God is already in the places I'm going and the places I'm leaving.   


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lately I'm Loving...

This has felt like a long winter.  To me at least.  Anyone else?  It probably has something to do with the Snowpacolypse hitting so early in the season that's made it seem to drag on.  Also, the fact that I was laying by the pool in my bikini yesterday afternoon and bundled up walking to church this morning in the sleet is a great example of the nature of our great state. I love Texas.

Anyway,  enough about the weather! I'm sure I'll be wishing for cooler temperatures come August.

What I'm loving lately:
1. Community group.  It's so much easier to walk in the light when you're surrounded by those who will keep you there and encourage you with grace and accountability.  Six months into being part of this group we've had our share of struggles, but I truly cannot imagine my life without them now.  Last Sunday we had the opportunity to be on a panel in front of men and women of all ages going through the process to be placed in a group, sharing about fun and fellowship.  We certainly know a lot about that! : )

Two stepping... one of many ways we have fun!
2. Friendships in general.  I hosted a girls night several weeks ago and failed to take any pictures! There were sweet friends from TCU, from church, from work, that I met post-college, and even those I met through other friends. Many of them had never met each other until that night, so it was a brain test for me to introduce them all to each other and explain how I knew them! We had wine and sweets and watched the Olympics.  I plan to host another one soon!

3. Quality time with Jon.  We started dating a few months ago, and the more we grow in our relationship, the more thankful I am for him! Between him working full time and getting his MBA, and my work and activities, our quality time together is limited, but that makes it all the more sweet. 

4. Being reminded that my job is a gift.  Though, like anyone, I experience days of burnout, I work for an organization that is impacting lives daily, in a setting where I'm surrounded by the most caring, intelligent people, that allows me to use my God-given talents to benefit others.

My team!

5. Quiet time.  I've been much more intentional about this lately, and it's essential to stay sane and focused on what matters in an insane world.  I've made it a point to spend time daily in the Bible, to read for fun more, and to get enough sleep.  All of these things make a huge difference in my physical, mental, and spiritual health!
Taking advantage of a recent warm day to just be still and soak up nature
I'm off to watch the Oscars and do laundry, daydreaming of warmer weather!