Besides the fact that God and I have some awesome conversations while I’m running, He also speaks to me when I’m writing. I learn a lot when I write, actually. It helps me to process…to spill out thoughts in my mind…to stretch me…to make me write what is true, what I struggle with, what I love, what I am passionate about, what God is teaching me… The list goes on.
As I prepare for this next semester, I am reading about leadership.
One piece of advice from the book I am reading:
“Work on yourself before you work on others”
Thank you, John Maxwell, I agree. And, I’m not so great at that. I mean, I might think I am, but it is much easier to correct others..or mistakes or inconsistencies in people’s lives. But, what about my own broken heart? There are many things in my life I must work on: worry, selfishness, not judging others, my capability to “be irritated” at many things…that I should just let go. Awhile ago, we talked about “embracing grace” at the church I grew up at, my parent’s church (one that I am trying to leave…to join a new community; it’s not easy, because Lakeside is comfortable to me). Anyways, Brad spoke gently and also very truthfully about grace. He said, “Grace is always more than a one-time gift. It multiplies. It’s designed to be life-changing.”
Is the grace that I give, life-changing? Do I even give grace enough? Definitely not. That makes me cringe to write it. But, I could be so much more gracious in all areas of my life. What would happen if I exchanged my irritability for grace?
life changing grace.
3 words…with a profound impact.
But, to be honest…I usually opt for the irritability. I ignore the Lord’s soft whisper of, “Lauren, …just be. Breathe. Relax. Let me be in control.”
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist.
God has used this book to shape my heart in college, and ultimately to shape my life.
In fact, the book still speaks wisdom and truth into my life.
“I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that I life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin.
And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin.”
But, right now…my life is going. It’s passing…and moving. So is God’s spirit through and in me. He is molding me and teaching me. He grew me in college, and now He’s growing me post-college.
That sweet girl in the picture next to me, is Katelyn. She’s one of my dear friends. I started as her mentor, and now …we are life long friends. She is one of the big reasons why I decided to be a Resident Director. The relationship I have with her made a profound impact on my life. We learned grace together. I had a “Bittersweet” season of my life…that paralleled hers. I am thankful for that challenging season of my life in college, because it allowed me to relate to her in so many ways.
What’s even more beautiful is what Katelyn has taught me. She has taught me the importance of grace, of being okay with being challenged, with growing, with being tired and happy all at once.
We both love Shauna Niequist.
And, I pray in this next semester of my life, as a lead a small group of women through this book…that God works again, that He cultivates deep relationships through joy and tears…and God’s grace.
I know, God will use this book to speak words of wisdom into the crevasses of my heart that still need repair and work…and more grace.