In light of recent events marking the beginning or end of an era (the commencement of 2012, and my finishing a book entitled The Irresistible Revolution) I figured now would be a great time to add another check to my bucket list. For some time now I have contemplated starting a blog for various reasons: to share simple yet tasty recipes I come across, mostly from sharing time with sweet friends cooking or baking, to indulge in crafting and clever ways to make art, and to allow friends and family a glimpse into my everyday life. A year ago my dream was to start a blog, however as feelings of inadequacy (of writing, of course, not of a severe life crisis) crept up I decided to make a different New Year’s resolution for last year. I kept a personal journal documenting all of the past year’s events and promised myself if I could keep that up, then I could certainly produce something worth tuning into. Thus starts a chronicling of my life for you to enjoy. And of course anything I might find interesting such as food, crafts, vintage finds, etc. will wind up here for your viewing.
And so to ring in the New Year I would like to bring you up to date on the highlight of my life these days!
If the Lord wills it, I will be moving to Portland, Oregon at the end of May, just after graduation to become a missionary. Okay, obviously there is more to it than that, but in short (and if you would like to stop reading now!) that is indeed the highlight of my most recent months. So let me start at the very beginning, a very good place… Never mind. Before school started this past fall semester, I decided to make a commitment to follow the Lord, wholeheartedly. No really. I REALLY meant it this time. I said, “I’m all in” and man, has it been a whirlwind adventure. Yes, I have been on an adventure getting to know the Lord since eighth grade when my dear best friend stepped out in faith and invited me to church. But this time was different. After all the challenges being a “real adult” has brought me thus far, especially after last year, I knew I needed to be 100% sold on the Lord’s faithfulness. So I jumped into this thing Christians call an intimate relationship and I mean it when I say that I will never be the same. All of what I have learned over the past five months or so has been good, bad, great, terrible, joyous, heart wrenching, the list could go on. There is a lie we often buy into when we decide to give our lives to Christ and that is once we meet Him, our lives will get easier. WRONGO. In fact I have shared with many a friend recently about this phenomena: When we give up our lives to the Lord, it gets harder. What is that about? That seems contrary to what I learned in youth group. But the fact is, and it’s in the Bible (John 16:33), that we will face trials and heartache. We will be persecuted for following the Way, but we are to take heart for He has already overcome. Have peace in knowing this and be encouraged to step out in faith, a leap of faith, if you will.
So as I was saying, when faced with thoughts of graduation and entering the real world on the horizon, I became puzzled with what it is I want to do with my life. Any person who has given up their life for the Kingdom would probably throw in the mix, “I want to serve Jesus in my career.” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that AND how many times I have thought it myself. But for some reason it seems only fitting for me to actually make a career out of serving Jesus. I love to serve; it’s my heart’s desire. And knowing my nature of being completely consumed with the task at hand, I realize that my focus on the Savior’s face is so easily torn away if my life’s work is not about Him. (And by the way, this is my sincerest attempt at being humble and NOT self-righteous.) I have come to the conclusion that I honestly want my career to be about the Kingdom; about the mission Jesus charged His disciples with before He went to be with the Father. So therefore, I am “going” to make disciples; to introduce people to Jesus and real Christianity and help them grow in their faith (you YoungLifers out there may recognize that saying... at least my Austin West team). So how did I settle on Portland? Thought you’d ask. Well some of you may know I spent a semi-miserable ten months in New Orleans, LA attending Tulane University my freshman year. The one thing that kept me afloat was the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and the friends I made there. I have kept in touch with a few of them and I am truly grateful for their friendships. One of my friends there has recently come on board with NAMB to be a missionary in Portland, and he in fact has already spent two summers there. After hearing of his tales in the city, along with my “radical” transformation with the Lord I have become enchanted with this magnificent city in the Northwest. There have been other contributing factors in the past few years, but I’ll save you the extra chapter of my novel. I can’t get my mind off this place. I could be completely wrong, but I think this place is right up my alley. I mean, I'm hippie/ hipster enough, right? I have lived in New Orleans AND Austin, for goodness sake (joking, joking). Now I don’t want to stay so enthralled with this glorious place for so long that I talk it up to be so much more than it is. On the flip side, I also don’t want to move there and realize I absolutely hate it (like I did New Orleans) so I have planned a visit. In fact, one week from now I will take a short trip over to that side of the country and officially become acquainted with Portland. I might even mutter under my breath, "Hello, Portland. It's nice to finally meet you." Prayers are greatly appreciated! I have no real agenda for this trip except to simply get to know the city and spend some time praying over this place. I’ll meet people, see exciting new (and green) places, drink coffee. And then I’ll head back to Austin for the next five months of life. Clearly because of the new blog, you will indeed be updated with all the goods during and after the trip.
Dear friends I do hope I don’t take for granted the opportunities and people here in Austin. This has been a wonderful place to spend three years learning in academia and from the Teacher. He is preparing me to move on and start a new chapter in life. I wish there was a different, not so overused cliché for this transitional period in life, but that’s what it is. Who knows, a lot can happen in five months! I can certainly attest to that.
So to sum it all up, my journey will be here for you all to take in. I call this my “leap year” because this is a giant leap of faith I am taking to trust in the Lord’s faithfulness and lean on His understanding. And in following with the actual calendar, this year is in fact a leap year. That obviously worked out in my favor.