Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Singleness is a Blessing

For the the majority of my 38 years I have been single and it has been a love/hate relationship with myself to say the least. Fresh out of high school I enrolled in a Christian college and found myself expecting to find the man of my dreams along with a ring on my finger by graduation. Looking back I realize that I wasted valuable time and energy chasing, yes I admit it CHASING, after boys in hopes of fulfilling my desire for a happily ever after story book romance. For all my efforts I was left in my mid-twenties in a place of loneliness and disappointment. While residing in this dark place, I attempted to find community within the church, in hopes that I would find something to fill the void that was this status of single. I bounced around from church to church always hoping to find that one place where their would be others like me or people who would embrace me just as I was, single.

As I began to approach a new decade in life, I found myself back in community with a church that welcomed me.  My restlessness began to fade. I wasn't searching for a place to belong. I was no longer just the single girl. I was Susan. The ironic part is that this church was the very same community of believers that had embraced me as a teenager, it was home. Within this church I not only found community but identity. I became a friend and a sister, a teacher and a leader. I shared life with them and they shared life with me. I also finally allowed the saving grace of God to change me and I began to finally see my worth in His eyes and not in my status, whatever that was to be.

Recently I read a blog by Karina Kreminski (You can read it Here). Karina talked about ways in which we need to be more "inclusive of singles" and how we need to rethink the conversation of singleness within the church. I found myself nodding in agreement the whole time I was reading and wanted to shout Amen a few times. From families needing singles as much as singles needing families to the DNA stamp of community on all our lives, Karina nailed it.

The church needs to wake up and realize that the single girl in her twenties or the thirty something man in the pew next to the family of four, are equally vital to the life of the church. From the new born to the elderly adult, the church is the people not a building or a program. We are community, the body of Christ. I love cuddling a new born, hearing and seeing pictures from teens about their latest life experience and listening to the wisdom of those who have walked this faith journey far longer than me. I believe we all personally and spiritually thrive on sharing life together.

Singleness is not a curse or something to be fixed, it is a blessing. Let those in your church who are in a season or a lifetime of singleness know that they are a blessing to you and you will find that you are a blessing to them.

"They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." ~ Acts 2:42 (NASB)

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

At a Lost for Words

I have tons of words, stories, and topics I want to blog about. I have an array of pics I would love to share. I have actually started this blog several times, never seeming to get very far because the post just didn't seem to capture everything. It is as if words are failing me. It could be lack of vocabulary or simply exhaustion, but no matter the reason I am at a lost for words.

I have been able to catch up with old friends while making new ones. I have been able to share quality time with my nephew. I have shared life with an amazing group of teenagers and adults over these last few days. As I sit in a quiet hotel room, longing to take a nap, one thing keeps running through my heart and mind. To God be the Glory!!!!

"I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your Name forever." ~ Psalm 86:12 (NASB)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

What's Your Passion?

The first quarter of 2016 is drawing to an end. Tomorrow starts a new month and with it the beginning of a very busy three months. It all kicks off with a 3 hour trip to a youth convention followed by a trip to Nashville (Love that City) a few days later. In Nashville, I will have the opportunity to serve, support, cheer, and worship with teens and adults from around the Southeastern Region of the Church of the Nazarene as we (NYI) gather for TNT @ TNU 16. I will get to see old friends and I look forward to meeting new ones at both of these events. Then I will tackle the next event and each one after that, such as a Senior Expo for work where I will head up the Wheel O' Fortune Booth with prizes, a few church fellowships, a fundraiser for the youth group, NMI/SDMI/DA with my Alabama South Family, a graduation party for the youth at church, a pool party, Teen Camp, and hopefully a trip to Texas with my family. I'm sure I've missed some event scheduled for these next three months but none the less it is going to be an exciting, challenging and fun time.

A friend made an observation regarding how people don't express their passions and it got me to thinking. What is my passion? Do I really understand what it means and do I have passion about anything? So of course I wanted to get to the root of it and so I googled Passion. The Merriam-Webster website gives the first definition of Passion as "a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something." (There are two others but I think this gets to the point my friend was talking about.)

Enlightened by this understanding of the word passion, I have realized I do have a passion for more than one thing but they all seem to come out of one source. That source is God. For God is love and has called us (me) to love. I have a passion for living out Mark 12:30-31, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (NASB) My passion is to Love God and Love Others. My passion is to love, care and enjoy time with my family. My passion is to help others in both psychical and spiritual matters. My passion is to enjoy this life that I have been given to the fullest and to be grateful. My passion is to grow in knowledge and grow in my faith.

As I look at the list of things ahead of me these next three months, I can't help but realize that my life is full of all my passions. Each day, with great enthusiasm I serve God in ministry at work,church, home and in the community. I'm excited to get up early on a Saturday just so I can spend a few hours with teens and adults who all are sharing in the Story of God. I'm absolutely pumped to spend four long days with little sleep just so that I can help serve at an event where teenagers get to use their talents for God, fellowship with other teens/adults, worship God and continue to engage in His Story. My life is overflowing with abundant joy, love and passion.

What's Your Passion?

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