Let’s Be Adventurers

I wouldn’t say I’m a particularly adventurous person. Some things definitely scare me – skydiving, bungee jumping, driving in Los Angeles. You know, usual fears.

My childhood wasn’t particularly adventurous. I broke my arm and became so fearful of hurting myself again (and the subsequent $$$ signs behind such an injury) that I became a quintessential indoor kid. I read lots and sparingly did much more than ride a bike or swim in a backyard pool in the Orlando summer. I followed rules and not just the rules my parents set, but the rules I set in my own head. They trapped me. Made me feel safe and stifled my sense of exploration.

After leaving suburbia, I began to change and understand in a more removed sense the way I had stifled myself and the way my childhood had stifled adventure. The first glimpse I had of adventure – on a trip to Europe at 17, I was hooked. I craved more. More of the world and more from my life.

Today, I’m stilled hooked in different ways – experiencing new cultures, new foods, new places, new friends. The world is vast and vastly different. All of it created to be loved, cherished and experienced.

Some days (like today), I see that I need to push myself in new ways – challenge my perception of the world, do something I am afraid of doing, eat something crazy, be filled with passion for the world and adventure in new ways.

On to the next adventure…

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Templeness

I recently re-listened to this plenary speaker from The Gospel Coalition’s 2012 Women’s Conference. When I heard it at the conference in 2012, my mind was blown and every time I listen to it again I feel the same way. It’s just full of good truth my heart needs to be reminded about. (Listen to it now!)

I need to be reminded that I am a temple of the one true God. The Spirit of God isn’t always the first topic I think about. I’ve never been a part of a particularly charismatic Christianity and thus maybe miss out a little bit in talking about the Holy Spirit. Whenever I hear teaching about this truth/ read about it, I am flabbergasted. The God of all creation – not only became human for my sake to die a death that I deserved to die, but came even further in to dwell with me in my body. Do you find that in amazing?

I am provoked by these thought to think about so many of my thoughts, feelings and actions that do not reflect the templeness of my body. I am full of the Spirit. It is not I that live, but Christ in me. But, I am weak and my actions don’t always reflect this knowledge. But, I am once more convicted to live a life that flows from this knowledge of my templeness: in actions, words and deeds. In all things, Christ is to be gloried.

Side note: If you live near enough to get to Orlando this summer for the 2014 Women’s Conference, do it! It will likely change your life. I wish I was going with all my favorite Four Oaks women. 

Parking Nightmare, USA

Los Angeles is not my favorite place. Don’t get me wrong – it’s got lots of fun things and I’m sure to those that live there it’s great. It is simply not for me. It stresses me out in unimaginable ways. I actually start thinking about my deep need for anti-anxiety meds about 20 miles from the city.

Recently, on a trip to Los Angeles I was struck by the city’s anger. The anger of Los Angeles can be seen nearly everywhere, but is especially apparent on the faces of the people, on the freeways and on every street where parking is clearly an issue.

The situation of Los Angeles, namely too many people and too many cars, has created a deep sense of entitlement. Even though the lovely people of Los Angeles don’t say it, their irrational actions state the obvious: they deserve what they want. To get where they want. To treat people how they want and to act how they want. They are the most important person in the world. (Haven’t we all lived like this?)

It is cliché to say that chivalry is dead, but it is true. Chivalry is the least of the concerns in Los Angeles where gentleman don’t exist but are replaced with cursing, toddler acting adults. Surely your parents didn’t teach you to be so vile, to be unable to communicate or to act rationally? Maybe they did and that’s an even bigger problem.

Now, this is not to say this is the only city with terrible, angry people. Aren’t we all terrible, angry people? I know I am the worst of these. Los Angeles is a city like any other, a city full of sinners. Full of people in need of grace. A city in need of a Savior.

Now, I’m not saying that grace will take away your frustration in Parking Nightmare, USA but hopefully it will shape how you treat other people. That’s how I hope to live in the face of frustration where I live. I hope and pray that lives will be shaped by the gospel where I live and I hope the same for the angry, crazy drivers of Los Angeles.