Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Wherever you are, be all there"

A friend and I started reading a book "One Thousand gifts" by Ann Voskamp. It's been more life changing that I ever anticipated. The idea of wanting to journal 1,000 things I am thankful for came from this book. Ann is an absolute beautiful writer and in this book she shares her testimony of how the Lord has changed her by teaching her about Grace (Charis), Joy (Chara) and Thankfulness (Eucharisteo).

I read chapter 4, a sanctuary of time, today and pretty much underlined the entire chapter. She quotes a pastor talking about time and how we are always in a rush,

"Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing...Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away."

It hurts to think of the thousands of beautiful things I have missed so far in life because I'm such in a hurry to get to the next place or not being thankful for the life the Lord has given me. Ann says it beautifully " I have lived the runner, panting ahead in worry, pounding back in regrets, terrified to live in the present, because here-time asks me to do the hardest of all: just open wide and receive."

As Ann continues to write she talks about how now that she is looking for things to be thankful for she begins to start living in the moment, seeing things in the moment and in continuous communication with God. "The clock ticks slow. I hear it for what it is: good and holy. Time, what God first deemed holy above all else (Genesis 2:3)... When I'm present, I meet I AM, the very presence of a present God. In His embrace, time loses all sense of speed and stress and space and stands so still and ...holy." Oh how I want to meet I AM every day, to be in His presence in the present and to dwell in His embrace.

"The real problem of life is never a lack of time.
The real problem of life-in my life- is lack of thanksgiving."

This is my life too! I desire to live a life of gratitude. To not miss out on the littlest gifts and to live life in the present, to be all here one day at a time and to stand arms wide open ready to receive the gifts the Lord gives daily.

Psalm 39:6 "We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing"

check out Ann's blog:

The List so far:

As my new years resolution I decided I wanted to do one fun thing a month that I've never done before or something that I enjoy. So here is what I came up with so far (no necessary order)

1. Go to a Memphis Tigers game....Check!
I got to go with two friends and had a blast! Its so neat to be around all the Memphis Tigers fans.

2. Spend a weekend in Nashville- I really want to go indoor rock climbing, shop at Trader Joes, find some fun vintage/thrift stores, eat at local places and take fun pictures!

3. Spend an extended amount of time away (has to be at least 24hrs) with just me and the Lord...check!

4. Find an open field to watch a Meteor shower... apparently there is an awesome one to watch in August.

5. Go on a road trip to visit my friend Megan in Chattanooga,TN.

6. Take a reupholstering class... For about a year now I have wanted to start a side job of turning old furniture (all types) into new fun pieces to put in a home. When I've taken something that I have found on the side of the road and made it into something useful and beautiful in my eyes I can't help but think of the Gospel. How I was like that piece that had been thrown away but because of Jesus' who has graciously picked me out of the pile, has spent time sanding me down(sanctification), painting me a new color(I've been washed white as snow), making me useful for His glory(redeemed) and sees me as His masterpiece, beautiful in His eyes.

7. Go to a concert- not sure who I want to see yet but going to a show is always fun....check!
8. Go camping with friends- I've heard of some great places around Memphis.

9. Read through the Bible in a year. (this will happen in 2012 by God's grace)

10. Go serve at the soup kitchen and learn from the people I meet.

11. Lose weight... I say it every year and I come up with excuses every year. NO more excuses! So I started going to an intense workout/boot camp called Crossfit. It has been the best thing for me so far this year. It is so fun to see little victories and to realize that the Holy Spirit is changing my mind set towards losing weight.... whoop whoop! CHECK!

12. Save up to go to France! My goal for this one is to go around September/October this year.

13. Journal 1,000 things I am thankful for. This one I don't want to rush through so I'm planning on taking the entire year to journal these out.... almost there in the 800's

14. Have an "urban spoon" date with my friends.... I did this one random night with a friend and had a blast. We locked in the area of town we wanted to go to and the price range we wanted to stay in then clicked the shake button. What ever restaurant it landed on thats where we went.


Other fun things I would love to do in my life time:

1. I heard someone the other day say they were planning on going to the summer olympics next year in Europe..... What an awesome trip that would be!! Not sure I would be able to do next year but one day hopefully I will get the opportunity to go to either summer or winter!

2. Learn how to knit

3. Visit all 50 states

4. Take a road trip up the west coast

5. Go snorkeling in Australia

6. Learn how to skateboard

7. Learn how to surf

more to come....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Going Stagg

"Going Stagg" seemed fitting for the title of this blog that I have been encouraged to write. Its a bit of an older term that we use to say when someone was going some where "alone" aka. not with a date. In the past couple months I have been on this roller coaster dealing with being in the season of singleness. Some days I am enjoying my independence and other days I'm on my knees praying that God would have my earthly knight and shining armor come knocking on my door at that instance.

I know I'm not the only girl who is dealing with this, who struggles with the reality of "always a bridesmaid never the bride". I do desire to be swept off my feet, to get giddy when I see this man, I desire to be chased, to be fought for, to experience a "toe popping" kiss, to have a partner to do life with, to have a man that I respect and I'm blown away that the Lord chose me to serve him. But until that season of life comes, what am I doing in this season of life that I am in?

I am guilty of this but I am so tiered of talking about being single and wallowing in it. I'm tiered of having the response of I'm learning how to be patient and waiting on the Lord. Waiting for what? My life doesn't start when I get married and have children(thats when chaos starts). The Lord has me in this season for how ever long He sees fit because He loves me and knows this is what is best for me. There are so many things that I've never done and want to do, things I want to learn how to do, places I want to see, cultures I want to experience, books I want to read, goals I want to achieve so what am I waiting for? Why am I not doing those things and wishing away this season of freedom?

So I am starting this blog as an outlet to share about that singleness really is a gift from the Lord and its time that I receive this gift with gratitude and enjoy every minute of it!