Love Is….(The Start of Something New)

I have the absolute privilege of serving in the student ministry at my church. There are few things more fulfilling to me than having the chance to laugh with, love, and speak truth into the lives of students and children. That being said, our youth ministry just finished a series on love. We finished the series by reading and reflecting on what is considered to be the love chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13.

1 Corinthians 13

As we read through this chapter, I did what most people who have grown up in church do; I recited it in my head and didn’t really think about the content. As the message ended, I started thinking about the passage again. When the speaker told us to put our name in the place of love (Insert name: is patient, kind, and so forth) I asked myself if I really could do that truthfully with my name. Am I really all of those things, to all people? Do I really understand what it means to be patient, kind, to not be envious or proud?

So in my personal devotions, and here on this blog, I am going to go through everything that 1 Corinthians 13 says that love is and isn’t. I plan on studying the attributes one a week. I have no idea what I will find, but I am ready to challenge myself.

Next week will be the start of something a little new here, and I am ready to go.

“Love Is Patient” will be up next week.

Stay tuned!

I Hate Men

Every girl I’ve ever met has a playlist full of girl-power, independent-woman, I-don’t-need-a-man-songs. This song is about to be added to mine. Because lets just be honest ladies, don’t we all hate men sometimes? This song is from the musical Kiss Me Kate, and it had me laughing SO hard last night. Now you can too.

P.S. Please guys, don’t take offense to this. We just can’t stand you sometimes, thats all. You’re okay for the most part.

A Bat in the Basement

Let’s rewind backwards almost eleven years ago. It was my tenth birthday; a cold, snowy day in Illinois. I was ecstatic about finally being double digits. I wonder now why that was so appealing, that whole growing up thing, but I digress. I had the best birthday party all prepared. Since I know you really want to know, the theme (yes, I themed my birthday parties, don’t hate) was winter wonderland. And yes, we decorated our own gingerbread houses. As I said, best birthday party ever. But on our way out the door, we heard someone yell from the basement, and I am NOT kidding, “THERE IS A BAT IN HERE!” No joke guys, there was a BAT in my basement. How did this happen? I haven’t the slightest idea. Ten long minutes later, that bat had been caught in a garbage bag and put out of its misery. Not me though, the birthday girl was in plenty of misery, because she just saw a bat die. On her birthday. Seriously?

Why do I remember this birthday so specifically? Is it because I turned ten? Or because of the best party ever? Or because of the fact that there was A BAT IN MY BASEMENT?!

Two of these experiences were expected, anticipated, and planned for. The third was the complete opposite. I wonder sometimes though, which experiences do we remember more? Is it the ones we planned for, or the ones that just happen?

Unexpected experiences can make for some of the best memories and the funniest stories. Wrong turns, delayed flights, unplanned adventures, bats in your basement, and other unforeseen events can be the most fun, or at least the most memorable.

The problem I find myself in at times is not seeing the unexpected as exciting in the moment. To me, a wrong turn normally means that I need to get back on track ASAP; a delayed flight means I need to figure out my next move, and unplanned adventures are just too spontaneous.

I need to get myself to a place where a wrong turn can be a new road, a delayed flight can be time to explore, and unplanned adventures are blessings in disguise. Because really, isn’t that what they are? My best friend ALWAYS teases me with her one saying, “Live a little, Gabs! Just live a little!” That phrase has made so many unplanned adventures become fun memories.

So next time you have an unexpected something happen, see it as an opportunity to make a memory. Also, if you find a bat in your basement, please make sure that it is NOT endangered before helping it get to bat heaven. And if you start to see unplanned adventures as chaotic, stressful, or just not fun let me tell you all to, “Just live a little!”

The Art of Being Single

Yesterday I found an interesting entry in my journal dating back to last November. I wrote this entry after baptizing one of my precious small group girls. In this post, I wrote about how, being single, I have a lot of time to influence others and work for the Lord. Reading this almost a year later, I laughed at how applicable these words are for me today. Here is a portion of what I wrote.

“I want someone to look at me and say, ‘Yes, she is single. And look at all that she is doing for God. Her commitment to Him is amazing.’ If I can be active, influential, and committed to Christ in my singleness, than my life would truly be worth something.”

I am often convicted by my own words. Being convicted by your own words is a very odd experience. As I read this entry I began to evaluate myself. Am I still as satisfied with being single as I was in November? Am I using my time to invest in others, myself, and in my relationship with God? Am I trying to be active, influential, and committed to Christ in my singleness?

I, not having any real experience, am no expert whatsoever in relationships (relationships as far as boy meets girl. I do have friends, I promise!). I do, however, have plenty of experience in the art of being single. Here are a few things I’ve learned being single, or really just being human (no, I don’t watch that tv show).

My relationship with God has to be number one

I don’t care if you are single, dating, engaged, married, or anything in-between. Your relationship with God has to be the first thing in your life. I know that for me I can feel the difference in my attitude towards others and myself when I am consistently in the Word and praying. I know that this can be a struggle people, it’s a struggle for me too. But it is SO important to make God your priority. Besides single ladies, the guy you want is going to want God to be your first anyways! He certainly can’t fulfill you the way God can, and a smart man already knows that.

My time should be used wisely

I don’t know if your life is like this at all, but mine is constantly moving. There is always something that needs doing. If I am not careful, I can go weeks without doing any one thing on purpose. My dad spoke on this at The Springs just this weekend (http://thesprings.net/watch-listen/message-archive/). He said that we shouldn’t live our lives by default, and I completely agree with that. If I am not intentional with my relationships, they will deteriorate. If I am not intentional with serving God and others, it won’t happen. If I am not intentional with getting into Scripture, my Bible will collect dust. I have to use my time wisely, or else live my life by default.

My time as a single person should be used well

I personally think that the time you spend single should be spent figuring yourself out. I mean really, who completely understands themselves and what they want out of life at age 18? Pursue your own interests, go see places you want to see, enjoy being alone! This is the advice I’ve been given from many a married person. I am not saying that you should go out and be reckless, what I am saying though is that you should take advantage of the time you have without any major commitment to one person or place.

These are just a few things I have learned. I want, more than most things, to be active, influential, and committed to Christ in my singleness. I also want to know that I have used my time well. So that is what I have to say on the matter, for whatever its worth.

Singleness rant on blog: check!

PS. Please feel free to comment and let me know your opinions on the subject of being single. Or if you have any great travel experience, I would love to hear where you’ve been!