Friday, March 21, 2014

Be Present - Reflection

On Monday, I shared with you how Pastor Craig Groeschel challenged the men and women of his church to pick one verse and one word to guide their decisions, actions and thoughts throughout 2014.  I shared with you that my verse for 2014 is James 4:13-15 and my word is present.

Today, I would like to share with you how I am doing on being present.  First, I would like to share with you what being present looks like in my life.

When I first decided that present was my one word, I realized that it is kind of vague.  What does it mean to be present anyway? 


To me, being present means...

- Turning the phone on silent and facing it upside down or out of sight when with friends.
- Not worrying about the mile long to do list that tomorrow brings.
- Not dwelling on all that I should have done yesterday.
- Not being on social media when I have carved out time for homework or work.
Ultimately, being present is focusing on what is here and now, no matter what has happened or what is to come.
So, I haven't been doing so hot so far.  But, being present means that that is okay.  Being present means that I am not going to sit around and mope about how being sick took over my spring break and I didn't get half as much done as I needed to.  Being present means that I am not going to beat myself up every time I peak at my phone when a friend is over.  Being present means that I am not going to regret the moments that I didn't put my computer aside when my roommate was talking to me, because I needed to keep working and could multi-task.  Being present means that I am going to be present now and make some changes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


At the beginning of 2014, Pastor Craig Groeschel, in the series Small Things Big Difference, challenged the men and women of his church to pick one verse.  One verse to keep a biblical perspective one the year.  One verse to guide through decision making.  This one verse was to be accompanied by one word.  One word to help you stay on track through the year.  One word to keep you focused throughout the year.  One verse and one word.  Seems pretty easy, right?

Picking just one verse and one word was no easy task for me.  I am a list maker.  Every year I make a list of goals for myself, a list typically as long as I am years old.  They are almost always a mix of attainable and audacious goals.  More often than not, I come out of the year discouraged because I only accomplished the attainable goals, and left the audacious ones by the wayside.  Picking one verse and one word to keep me focused throughout the year was no easy task.

I began evaluating all of the things I wanted to accomplish in 2014.  After much deliberation and elimination, I made a list of eleven goals I had for 2014Don't give me too much credit yet...  I, also, vowed to set monthly goals that would help me achieve my yearly goals.

What had gotten into me?!  I had gotten so far off the path of one verse and one word.  The goal was far small things to make a big difference, and I was doing it the wrong way.  So, I went back to the drawing board.  Except, I kept my goals for 2014.

The biggest difference I wanted to see made in 2014 was my ability to be present.  I am a girl with 12090985039 things going on in her head at once, and I am consistently thinking of the next 10293808 things that I need to do.  My ability to be present is severely lacking.  This reflects in my friendships, my studies and my work.

So, one verse for 2014...
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money."  Why, you don't even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is our life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 
James 4:13-15
And, you guessed it, my one word for 2014 is...
Tune in... Later this week, I will be sharing on how I am doing at being present. 
Chime in... How are your 2014 resolutions going?  Did you pick one word?  How is that going?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Not So Average

Since stepping on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in July of 2013, I have realized that I am not so average.  I am not so average in a million and one ways.  I'm not your average seminary student.  I am not your average Christian woman.  I am not so average in a million and one ways.

Your average female seminary student may be enrolled in seminary courses, but has no greater desire than to be wife and stay at home mother to many.  The average female seminary student wants to know how to sew, budget and design the perfect home.  The average female seminary student has a strong desire to meet her Mr. Right, support him in his ministry work, raise his beautiful babies and have dinner ready for him every evening.  Your average female seminary student may be enrolled in seminary courses, but her highest calling is to be a wife and stay at home mother.

I am not so average in a million and one ways.

I came to seminary to learn about my Creator.  I came to seminary to stretch my faith.  I came to seminary because God called me here.  I enrolled in the Masters of Divinity program because I wanted to learn all that I could about my Heavenly Father.  I accepted the daunting task of learning Hebrew and Greek because I wanted to be able to read the Bible in its original context.  I knew that I would be a minority, but I did not realize how hard it would be to be not so average.

Your average female has been planning her wedding as long as she can remember.  She has a binder full of wedding clippings that she has been saving.  She has a Pinterest board with 1,001 wedding pins - dresses, photographs she wants, colors, and how to have a wedding on a budget.  She knows what her dress will look like, where the wedding and reception will be held, and the colors she will use. 

I am not so average in a million and one ways.

The extent of my wedding planning as a child was playing MASH with my best friend.  I never had a deep desire to be a wife or a mom to five.  I don't know why.  I don't think there is some deep reason why.  I just think that this is who God has made me to be.  I am not saying that I want to be a spinster with 4 cats.  I am not saying that I am opposed to the idea of marriage.  But, I am not chasing every man that looks my way.  I am not rushed to get to the alter, even if I will be 25 this year.

The president of SWBTS likes to say and strongly believes that the highest calling for a woman is to be a wife.  But, I am not your average woman.  I strongly believe that my highest calling is to worship my God through my thoughts, words and actions.  I have a friend that likes to say that women should be "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen."  But, I am not your average woman.  God did not place a desire in my heart to be "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen."

Is there something wrong with me because I do not have a deep rooted desire to be a wife?  Is there something wrong with me because I do not want to be "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen"?  Or, is it okay to be not so average?  Is it okay to be chasing a calling from God and not having a strong desire to be a wife?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Catch Up

Juggling seminary life, working two part time jobs, and managing some kind of social life, is not always easy.  To be honest, it is rarely easy.  Late nights, early mornings, endless cups of coffee... But, I wouldn't trade these days for anything.  My only regret, is that I don't have more time to write.  I really enjoy writing, sharing what God has laid on my heart, and just unloading sometimes. 

School has been great, but super busy.  I am taking 13 hours this semester.... 9 hours is considered full-time.  Yes, I am crazy.  Work is fabulous.  I am really truly loving my job.  It's too much fun to call it work.  I thank God daily for allowing me to get to work in ministry!

It's spring break.  But, I don't have much of an opportunity to take a break.  I am going to be incredibly busy researching for papers galore, studying for mid terms, and memorizing Hebrew paradigms.  Oh, the seminary life is a busy one.

I've got a few posts coming up.  Nothing too deep, I don't think, but how I feel like I'm not so average sometimes.  Even though I am a Christian woman, I don't long to be a housewife..  Even though my undergrad is in religion, seminary hasn't been a walk in the park.  And, I sometimes struggle with finding time to have quiet time with God on a daily basis.  I'm not your average seminarian.  I'm not your average Christian.  I'm just not so average.  But, I'm okay with that.