Friday, January 23, 2009

Many months later...

I am very, very delinquent at posting things on this blog. Somehow by the end of the day I don't feel I have any more words left. :) As is the case with many, my job entails continual communication. All day long it seems I talk or write. I love that... but by the time I finally get home I think I'm out of words. haha. :) Particularly after spending the Christmas season writing a Bible study curriculum (I figure it took over 100 hours of writing in just a few week period), computer screens waiting for more words to be typed in look particularly foreboding.
And, so, my blog has sat with no new updates since last May.
In a nutshell... since May...
The Lord has been exceedingly good to me these past months. 2007-2008 was a challenging year in many ways. It was a year of intense growth but, by last summer, I felt really drained. Instead of being restored, some things brought about even more discouragement. It was one of those seasons where deep down I knew who I was in Christ, but I was so worn down that, when situations caused me to doubt it, I had a hard time remembering my worth and identity in Him. I was really so tired spiritually. Looking back, I realize the need to be more diligent in surrounding myself with those who live in and speak God's truth instead of critical individuals not full of the fruit of the Spirit. I see how important it is, particularly when we walk through those exhausting seasons, to really guard our souls, spending much much much time being with God, allowing Him to restore us through the healing balm of His Word and Spirit. I'm learning that, particularly in ministry, it is really vital to continually drench oneself in the Word (not just faithfully reading the Word each day, but really marinating in it). This fall I found renewed joy at a conference in NYC as I heard words of life spoken, touching deep areas of my heart. I remembered again how the Lord delights over His children with singing, how He is intimately acquainted with us, how He walks with us through each day, how He is our Song-giver. It is so good to know that even when the world and its treasures, and sometimes even those who call themselves Christians, say we are crazy, mock us, don't understand us, or seek to devour and destroy us, we are not alone. The Lord is standing as our warrior and will uphold us in His victorious hand. We are His treasures, created for His joy, with a magnificently wonderful calling to extend His life and truth to our world. This fall the Lord continued this restoring work in my heart as He sung His peace into my soul in deeper ways than ever before, reminding me of His love for me, of the joy there is in not settling for the world's treasures but being secure in aiming high in our walks with Him. When I faced a freaky medical issue in November/December the Lord used that time to particularly encourage me in who He is, the incredible depth of His love, and the truth of my identity as His daughter. This beginning of the year has been full of some potential changes. I am truly excited about what He has been doing. Even though I am looking at various uncertainties, I am reminded through what He taught me this past crazy year, of God's sovereignty and goodness. I love being His daughter. I am in awe at how He calls me His treasure. It is incredible to know that our inheritance is sure. That we are already seated in the heavenlies. What a remarkable joy this is, and how life transforming it is as we think of the high calling He has written into our life - not because of our personal greatness or ability - but because of His gloriousness.
I'm still overseeing Women's Ministries at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and absolutely love it! So much has happened these 6 months since taking over the job and I feel as if I've grown a great deal as a person and in ministry insight. It has been a true joy and our women have been gems. I've loved having an opportunity to mold how a ministry department runs. I feel as if some of my DC tendencies have opportunity to be used a bit again. I pray I would be a faithful vessel in this work and that, even though I know I have nothing in myself to give, God would be glorified as He so clearly does the work. I'm looking at finishing my second M.A. in May and am hoping to finally seriously pursue a PhD then. In October I redecorated several rooms in my apartment (hooray for Lowes... they were so helpful as I attempted various new things such as putting up molding and Venetian plaster). That revived my interest in interior design (I'd studied it for a year several years ago). I was asked to design someone else's apartment recently and had a blast doing that. I'm thinking that, eventually, I'd like to take more classes in this. I've had opportunity to do some most delightful traveling and have treasured these opportunities immensely. :) It was great to spend time with my family over Christmas and I am excited about the opportunity to see them so soon again in February.
So that's my little update. May you know great joy this beginning of 2009! :)
PS. This picture (taken in the Metropolitan Museum of Art) was taken last weekend on a very fun (and very cold) NYC trip with one of my dear high schoolers.