Friday, March 28, 2014

Finding God's Will for Your Life

Brilliant time at the DTS Gathering that we hosted here in YWAM Derby
"Your calling 
is determined over time, 
as you process 
what you want to do, 
what God has gifted you to do 
and the opportunities He’s placed before you. 
More often than not, 
your calling is a gradual process 
that is 
solidified 
over time."
-excerpt from "The Gospel and..."
photos in this post taken by Fernando Azevedo Nunes (this one at the lovely Derby Cathedral)
In my study time with God, I've been trying to figure out what it looks like to find His perfect will for one's life.

I mean, what the heck does that even mean?? Perfect will.

This is the burning question in our current Discipleship Training School (DTS) student's hearts and minds as their DTS rolls to a swift and ever closer conclusion. Only three more months to go!

It's the burning question that is on pretty much ALL of our young people's minds today as they approach Uni-age...and on the minds of many middle-aged peoples and all the inbetween aged folk as well. Really I think it starts for all of us around 5 or 6 when well-meaning relatives and slightly obnoxious strangers in the food checkout line turn eager eyes on us and pepper us with the, what do you want to be when you grow up?? question...

Fun fact for you:
The average professional changes jobs 10-15 times in their career. 
(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

There is clearly a bit of uncertainty in the path many of us feel we are supposed to head down. That and we are easily bored because we settle for jobs that maybe pay well, but don't necessarily provide us with any sense of fulfillment.

For me, during my twenties, I changed jobs MANY, many times. Never landing on one that I felt ultimately was IT.

So how do we weigh all of the options out there for what we could do and all of our own personal interests and what we think we'd like to do and then weigh it all in with what God wants us to do?

Even now, for me, when I know I am in the center of God's will for me, I am so used to entertaining this barrage of thoughts:

Goes something like,

Am I really doing what He has called me to do? Am I sure I heard Him correctly? Am I equipped in the best way I can be?? Is there anything I have overlooked?? Surely if I'm enjoying it too much or say, not enough, then it must not be right...err...right?

I read a very though provoking book by Andrew Wommack, 
How to Find, Follow and Fulfill God's Will For Your Life. 

Wommack says some really interesting things in it...
one of my main take aways was this quote:

It's not difficult to have God lead us. 
We just need to love God with our whole heart 
and commit our lives to Him, 
then as we DELIGHT in the Lord, 
He will put HIS DESIRES in our hearts.
When we delight ourselves in the Lord, 
He changes the desires of our heart 
to align with our purpose in life. 
We can trust those desires. -Wommack

What  I am starting to really see is that as we abide in Him, fixing our hearts and minds on Jesus, enjoying ALL of Him and intimate relationship with Him, ALL other things in life fall into place according to His best plans and purposes. 

Matthew 6:36
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, 
and ALL these things will be added to you.

We were all created for meaningful and inspired purpose and destiny in Christ. 

The key, I'm finding comes from resting and enjoying Him first and foremost. Quieting that worrying mind of ours...

In His timing he will absolutely reveal that thing we were made to do.

We may not always have the whole, detailed map of it but we'll have the next step. The task may last a year or two and then change -that definitely happens or it may occupy a lifetime...

God is so big and infinite and the cool thing is,
Our personal relationship with Jesus allows Him to GUIDE us individually.

We MUST NOT compare our journey or what we think we 'should be' doing with anybody else's life.

There is NO ONE else like you or me out there in the vast world. We are entirely unique as is our calling.

Jesus’ first job was not as a preacher, teacher, leader or healer.
His first
 
job was as a blue-collar worker. For twenty years, the majority of His 

life, He worked an ordinary job, as a carpenter.

We were made to work, but we are not defined by our work. 
Jesus’ work, His title, His salary didn’t define Him. His Father defined Him. 
His Father gave Him value. Because of this, Jesus could enjoy His work."
-another excerpt from "The Gospel and..."


God creates and calls all of us to different professions and vocations. 
He calls some to be church planters and pastors, some to be entrepreneurs, businessmen, custodians, construction workers, artists and doctors.

What would you choose?

Practically...One way we can start honing in on these God-given desires is by making a list of things we enjoy doing and giving ourselves permission to add those things that we think might be over the top or that others might laugh at---but if money wasn't an option and you could DO ANYTHING...???? What would you do??/ Put it all down!!

Then...

Relax.

Don't stress.

Rest in Christ and lay these ideas before Him. As we love Him and enjoy Him in relationship, we let all of our hopes and desires be filtered through His love and grace... the more time you spend conscious of Him and Him IN you, you will find that He is overflowing out of you and that He is filling you with God-desires and dreams and visions.

Then when He says GO, we can step out in faith and do all that He has set before us to do with excitement and purpose because we are doing it with Someone we know, trust and love. And we will be doing what we were made to do.

Loving God and ENJOYING Him forever 
is our ultimate calling! 
EVERYTHING else, flows out of that.

I'll leave you with a quote from David Platt in his book, Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live:
"We go to Him. We spend time with Him. We sincerely listen to His Word as we walk in obedience to it. As we do these things, God leads and guide us according to His will, and suddenly we realize that finding God's will is not a road map just waiting to be unearthed somewhere... 
Instead, it’s a relationship that God wants us to experience every day. The goal of the disciple of Jesus, then, is not to answer the question, “What is God’s will for my life?” The goal, instead, is to walk in God’s will on a moment-by-moment, day-by-day basis."


Friday, January 24, 2014

Finally, First Look at Derby

This blog has been a bit silent for the past couple months!
Not for lack of things to write or pictures to post,
but for lack of the illusive thing called extra time!

I've been serving as missions staff of a DTS (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM in Derby, England for 5 months now which is CRAZY and still at times, hard to believe that I'm on distant shores and separated many thousands of miles away from all that has been familiar to me 
in my life up until this point.

It is fascinating being submerged in an entirely different culture.
For, although we speak the 'same' language...
English and American culture, norms and use of language is and can be, quite divergent.

My DTS team is amazing. The staff and students that I get to daily spend my time with are each inspiring and fun and challenging me to grow in many ways. 

Below is a brief visual glimpse into the city that I am living in and our wonderful Urban Missions DTS.

Am determined to get back into regular swing with my bloggy. 
Hope my friends and readers out there in the blogosphere are well and tackling this 2014 new year 
with major gusto and fullness of grace and joy!





Monday, September 2, 2013

Overdale House and finally getting here...


Oh my.

I can't believe I've been in England for two weeks! I did plan on posting earlier but it's just been too crazy around here. I know you'll forgive me.

I am happy to write now though, albeit a bit briefly.

To recap...

I arrived at London's Heathrow Airport after a smooth journey across the vast atlantic ocean.

It was the most uncomfortable succession of plane rides I've taken to date, but I think that's just because it's too hard to get comfy in those narrow seats. But I made it safely so that's all that counts.

I found my two-ton luggage set and then proceeded to make as many wrong turns as possible throughout the airport trying to get to Terminal 3. Or was it 1? I'm still confused.

Just note, if one wants to take the Underground Picadilly line...if you go to the wrong terminal, beware you will have to lug your luggage up many,
many,
many
steps.

Thankfully, those few times I found myself in the very awkward, cumbersome position, gazing forlornly up the mountainous stairways, some very nice English gents stopped to help me out.

So grateful to them ;)

Once up on solid, city ground at Victoria Station, I began the slow haul down the sidewalk trying to locate the Coach (bus) station. I was receiving some odd stares and double takes. I think I may have looked half-mad at this point, my hair all frizzy and cheeks, a bright shade of tomato-red from all the exertion. My luggage was all linked together one on top of the other...I think that looked odd too.

Anyways, it had taken me so long to get to the bus station that I missed the bus I was going to take.

Not to worry though...a mere 3 hours later and after lots of people gazing and interesting conversations with English and Irish folks also waiting, I was bound for Derby.


I met the wonderful missionary base leaders for YWAM Derby at the Derby bus station and they hustled me to my new home...

Overdale House.

It is a beautiful, victorian house from the mid-1800s...that now houses currently 11 YWAM missionaries, two kiddos, and soon a bunch of DTS (Discipleship Training School) students.

So happy to finally be here. And I am so amazed and blessed by everyone's testimonies and the journeys that God has had them on to get to this place now.

Here's a brief look at my new home...and wonderful people I am working with.

Becca (my awesome roomate), little Esther (a missionary couple's daughter) and I
most of YWAM Derby's missionary staff out in the countryside of Derbyshire (5 countries represented)


To be continued...

Friday, August 23, 2013

4 Amazing Things I Noticed In Iceland


Photo by: Alex J White
I've made it safely to Derby, England. It was quite a long, grueling 24 hour-ish journey because I had two layovers but on that note, I get to say I've been to Iceland!

KeflavĂ­k International Airport, to be more exact, and it was pretty sweet. It was around 6 am when we landed there from JFK, and the sun was streaming morning rays over brown mossy flatland. Never seen terrain like this before. So very interesting.

3 things that amazed me about the 1.5 hours I spent in
ICELAND:

1. There were mysterious thin plumes of white smoke coming up from the ground. Very curious and not sure if it was volcanic activity of some sort or just crazy Icelandic weather phenomena. I was duly impressed by said smokiness. And got to see it relatively close as I traipsed across the tarmac, alighting the steps to IcelandAir's plane

2. I've never seen so many tall, naturally blonde, blue eyed people all in one place together ALL at the same time! My swarthy Italian self felt a little awkward. ;)

3. I would choose a layover flight here and deal with all the multiple stops just so I could go back and use their amazing airport bathrooms. I should have snapped a pic, it was that awesome. You walked into the bathroom and were meant with shiny white floors and small white compartments where you actually closed an actual full-on-door and had a bathroom and toilet and huge mirror all to your self in every compartment. With sink faucets (notice that I said "faucet") that both washed and dried your hands. It was bathroombliss if there could be such a thing.

4. Apparently many Icelanders believe in elves and certain roads have been re-routed to avoid disturbing areas where elves are thought to live. This extra fun fact is for free.

_________

Okay...so you may be curious to hear about how England has actually been.

Well that intro will come tomorrow.

Sorry...I'm still recovering from a bit of Jet lag and need MORE sleep now ;)

See you on the flip-flop.



Blessings friends.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

This Girl's Flying Away

Tomorrow is the day.

Finally.

I will be off to Derby, England.

I can scarcely believe the time has finally come.

My last couple weeks here in the states have been super busy.

Here's a quick recap!

Lots of loose ends to tie up at work and I'm pretty sure my 
awesome new replacement
was wishing I was a lot less scatter brained.

Sorry, girly!

Fun times all around though :) I will miss this crazy busy, lovely place.

I had a super time with coworkers at one last lunch together.

Stuffed french toast anyone? But of course.

I miss them all already.

And a spur of the moment dinner date with two loveliest of ladies :)


My aunt took me out for pedi's and a "sending off" Italian meal this past week as well. 
A cannoli was necessary to top the evening, 
and yes after all this eating I may have gained a pound or two :(

________

Packing really hurt my brain though.

It was not enjoyable. Not even in the minutest fraction of an amount.

In fact I get a headache just thinking about how horribly everything fit and what didn't fit :(

But it was probably God's way of showing me all the things that are simply things
that I don't really need so much afterall.

_________


I was happy to share about this mission at my church today. It was quite nerve-racking to present it three different times but I was glad for the chance to meet new faces,
get lots of hugs and hear some great stories in return.

I'm so grateful for these 'lasts' before the new 'unknowns'...

I will remember these sweet, crazy days leading up though with much fondness
in the months to come :)

See you on the other side of the Pond, my friends!

oh...and pizza. Did I mention eating quite a lot of that?

 And like a ton of Sweet Berries Ice Cream :)

my wonderful grandparents, my daddy, brother and I :) last two pictures

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cirque Loveliness


As a going away slash belated birthday present, 
my aunt took my sister and brother and I to see the show,
La Nouba - Cirque Du Soleil
 in Downtown Disney.

I had never seen it before and the show was outstanding.
The talent was unbelievable.
If you ever get the chance, see a performance by Cirque....
well worth it! :)

and thankful for the wonderful memory that it is for me to take with me
of much loved time spent with the Fam :)
___________

I'm off to a church staff picnic today :)

Have a happy weekend friends.

T-Minus:9 Days until Departure :)


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Treasure in Friends

I'm still here ...busy tying up many loose ends.
Trying to remember everything I know I'm forgetting to do :)

Making lots of lists.

Very excited :)

So blessed 
and 
Appreciating all the amazing people
I have met and gotten to know over lunches and chats and
through church over the past few weeks.

I've been so inspired by our conversations and grateful for all the 
advice and words of wisdom humbly bestowed :)

Every person has a story.
Is living a journey, that when shared with others,
is a treasure for us the listeners to hear and learn from.

God never ceases to amaze me how good he is
 and how he supplies all that we need, 
exactly when we need it.

Thankful for these new friendships and excited for them to keep growing :)

*photos in this post courtesy of pinterest
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