This week I have been thankful for my sisters
my beautiful mom
my stepdad finally hitting the big 5-0!
my big fuzzy puppy
and God’s word speaking to me
For 18 days I have had the opportunity to come to Georgia and see my family. I’ve gotten to put aside work and school and really have nothing to worry about while I’m here. It has been such a sweet relief after the summer I’ve had. God has been teaching me more about who He is and that I simply need to abide in Him. “Be still and know that I am God” is a verse that has stuck out to me more than anything. To be still is to put away all the things that distract us from being in God’s presence; to stop thinking about all the things that need to be done today or tomorrow, and sit before Him. During this time I am normally repeating all the names of God, His characteristics, and the things He has revealed about Himself to me. To sit before God and remember who He is is such a sweet time of peace and calmness.
Three years ago this summer I moved away from my family and friends and began a new journey in life in Texas. Twice a year I’m able to come and visit my mom, and it’s not until recently that I have really learned to appreciate everything she’s done for me. I’ve finally learned to really love my sisters and not see them as annoying. And I’ve really learned to love my stepdad and everything he’s done for me, especially the times he did things and didn’t have to.
Dear Readers, it’s finally Friday! What are y’all doing this weekend?! I want to hear all about it! Dear Self, today is a day to relax and calm down. You got really emotional yesterday, so take today to be in the word, be honest with people that you’re struggling, and let God calm your heart. Dear Alyssa, I loved getting to see you this week! As much as I love you I am thankful for the time we’ve spent apart, especially since we will be sharing a room with one other person this semester. Dear Mom, I cannot WAIT to see you in less than a week! I’m sad that I’ll only get to spend a couple of weeks with you, but we’re going to have a blast!
From Sunday until today I had the privilege of staying at the Gaylord Texan with my Alyssa’s church as a youth leader. I’ve gotten to do several events with Alyssa’s church and have always loved every second of it. I’m currently between churches and am struggling to get plugged in anywhere, but FBC Livingston has really adopted me and I’ve been able to develop great relationships with so many of the people there. So when the opportunity came up to volunteer at a youth leader at this conference I jumped all over it.
We arrived on Sunday night and played a game called Whirlyball. This was one of the most hilarious and challenging games I’ve ever played. It’s played in teams of 5 each and you ride around a room in bumper cars trying to get a hold of a small ball. Then, you must somehow throw the ball at a board that is a good 10 feet over your head. This game is not for those who are uncoordinated, meaning me. HA! But it was still a ton of fun!
Once we finally made it to the hotel I was placed with 3 high school girls, who were so awesome the whole week. We had minimal problems with sarcasm that first night, but it was soon replaced with us trying to point out things we like about each other. I wanted the girls to realize that sarcasm can be hurtful so I laid down the law: we were going to be the nice loving room. And by the end of the week everyone in the youth group was calling us the loving group. It was awesome!
On Monday we had the opportunity to go serve with Mission Arlington doing apartment ministry. This was new to me, but I loved every second of it. We spent some time cleaning up the apartment complex and then went door to door inviting families to bring their children to the park for games and Bible study. We split up into groups to go knock on doors and at first I was getting discouraged because many families said no thank you, or would not come to the door at all. But one little girl, Maya, came out with us and showed us where her friends lived, and we soon had a small posse of children following us back to the park. When we arrived at the park we were shocked to see at least 50 children running around playing games and being held by different members of the youth. It was such a great scene. These kids just wanted to be hugged and loved on and we were all more than happy to oblige. I also got to speak Spanish with several of the residents in the apartment complex, which was so cool!
The rest of the week was filled with a trip to Six Flags and a water park, multiple worship opportunities and listening to speakers. The fellowship in the wee hours of the morning were my favorite parts of the trip. Those were the moments when people got real and honest and began asking the hard questions. It was awesome to see the youth group grow over the span of a few days. I wasn’t ready to come home today, but I took so much away from the week and am so thankful that I was able to go!