#WVW 16 // Be still.

This week is a little different.

This week, I’m in St. Louis, Missouri, for Urbana – the world’s largest student missions conference. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this trip for a few months now, and now I’m here and it’s already almost over! We got here on Saturday, and we leave on New Years Day.

I tried to have very few expectations coming in. I knew that it could be life changing, I knew that God was going to do something. And I kind of hoped that somehow through this conference about missions, with the chance to meet with different organizations and hear from people doing missions in tons of different ways, I would feel God leading me into a certain direction. I hoped maybe I would have this new found passion and excitement about a certain career path, one that was finally going to be what I wanted.

But now, on the morning of the 4th day of the conference, that still hasn’t happened. I honestly feel just as lost and confused as before. I’ve been learning a ton (another post for another day) – about God, about other cultures, about things I’ve been ignorant (sometimes purposefully) to..but I don’t feel my own personal struggles being untangled.

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#WVW 15 // See differently.

If I could time travel only once, what would I want to see/learn? This really had me stumped for a while, haha.

My first thought was that I’d like to go back and live during Jesus’ ministry – what would it be like to walk alongside Jesus, learn from him, hear him preach, see his face, etc..but then I realized that a) it was a lot harder to be a Christian then than it is now, and b) if I was really living in that time period and not just observing..would I be one of the few that truly followed Jesus? Or would I be one of the people in the crowd yelling, “crucify him”? I don’t know if I would want to find out.

So I scrapped that idea.

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#WVW 14 // Beauty

In week 9 of #WordVomitWednesday, I wrote about art. In that post, I said, “What is beauty, anyway? It’s so subjective. Don’t ask me to define beauty. That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms I’m not sure I could even open.”

That’s, of course, when Brian messaged me and told me that I basically just set myself up to be given the topic of beauty, and that he would spring it on me one of these days. Well my friends, the day has come, and I will say I am most unprepared.

beauty: the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

Ladies, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and guys there’s something you should know: all women want to feel beautiful, whether they show it or not. It’s why we feel self-conscious without makeup, why we do our hair, why we get dressed up, etc. Also for self-expression, sure, but I think we’d be lying if we said that behind all that there isn’t some pursuit of beauty. And just because a girl doesn’t wear makeup, doesn’t care about her hair, and doesn’t care about the latest fashion trends, doesn’t mean she doesn’t also want to feel beautiful.

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#WVW 13 // Hope

When I received my topic for this week – hope – I felt this heaviness come over me..not exactly a feeling you think of when thinking about hope.

But I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy post. Because in a lot of ways, a lot of people are losing hope. I think we can all agree that the world is growing increasingly dark, even though it seems like it should be getting better – what with all the freedom, activism, non-profits, social justice, etc. that our society has today. But we still see hate, cold-blooded hate. We see injustice. We see mass shooting after mass shooting. Yes, there is so much beauty to be seen, but there is a lot of ugly. The darkest times are the times that we need hope the most, but it’s hardest to have it.

I really debated with myself for awhile, deciding which direction to go with this. I knew I could avoid talking about the heavy stuff, and say something generic about what it means to have hope..because I didn’t want to get into some theologically-loaded ramble. But the other side of me – the Biblical-studies-minor side of me – knew I could get really deep into this topic of hope..finding relevant Bible passages and writing an exegetical blurb, quoting Bible scholars and theologians..but I stopped and reminded myself that this isn’t a college-level Bible course, nor is it a sermon.

But I wouldn’t be writing completely from the heart, I wouldn’t be being genuinely myself, if I didn’t talk about the hope I have in Jesus. I’ll save you the exegesis and critical study though, lest you be bored to death. Haha.

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#WVW 12 // Something different.

Changing it up this week and perhaps even breaking some perceived “rules” of #WordVomitWednesday. But hey, rules were meant to be broken..as long as you know the rules, and why you’re breaking them. (That’s what they taught us in film school, anyway.)

My topic this week is: something you don’t like but you wish you did.

My brain couldn’t formulate a way to turn that into sentences and paragraphs, and the first thing that came to mind was to do this:

[The rules are: no backspacing allowed (except for spelling & grammar), cannot rearrange the order of the listed items, try not to explain myself, & once I move on to the next section I can’t go back. I just have to write whatever comes to mind, #wordvomit style.]

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