Book Club

Will & I have decided to put down the Netflix and pick up some books. I have a goal of reading all the unread books on our bookshelf, and Will bravely has decided to join me on this one.

Will is beginning with A Case for the Creator by Lee Strobel. I decided on a book given to me by my mother and written by a great inspiration of mine, Jen Hatmaker (who I had the pleasure of leading worship alongside at a conference in Athens). The book is Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. So far we are both quite happy with our first book choices.

Seven journeys through Jen’s experiment to simplify her life by only focuses on seven items each month. I have already gone through section one of Seven, and that first section focused on food. Seven foods were chosen to sustain Jen, and for a whole month that’s all she ate. Wow… The willpower to make that decision. Now, what I love about Jen is that she’s very human and honest about being so. As much as she documents triumph, heart change, and a closer unity with the Lord through her journalling, she also tells of her struggles, failures, and absolute humanity. It’s a real book about a real woman just trying to eliminate excess and get closer to Jesus. I can get behind that.

As I read of Jen’s experiences, I am challenged by the clutter and excess of my own life. I live in a far larger home with far more things than I could ever need… And guess what?! I keep buying stuff! I am never hungry or for want of anything, but I rarely empty out my resources and share with those who are. This book is opening up areas of my life that I didn’t know I wanted to change… but I do!

Through prayer, conversation with my hubby, and continuation of Seven, I too am going to take the challenge Jen gave herself. More Jesus. Less everything else.

DNOW 2K14!

Two weeks later, I’ve finally caught up on sleep enough to write about it… Just kidding! Although it was a jam-packed weekend with TFUMC Youth for DNOW 2K14. Jam-packed and AWESOME.

I just have to make a little disclaimer. It’s to no offense of the other groups whatsoever, but I do believe that I was gifted the 9 most wonderful gals/ weekend housemates that I could have ever dreamed of! Lucky for me, I got to sleep in my own bed and act as host and small group leader for the high school girls… and boy did I enjoy it. To open up my home, my heart, and my life to these girls who I could see little bits of my younger self inside. Really cool. Very humbling.

I’d almost dare to say it was majestic 🙂

The most amazing part, which is what always amazes me about these weekend conferences, was how much the Lord shook me to wake up and not assume that just because I’m older, I’ve got it together. Not the case. And I think it’s easy to get stuck in that rut. I was so blessed by the weekend spent with these ladies because they challenged me, made me dig a little in places I’ve been avoiding, and taught me things that I honestly didn’t expect to learn.

The theme of the weekend was EXCHANGE. Exchanging death for life. Hate for love. Self for Christ. And comfort for calling. “Gaining through giving up.” Which is exactly what I was steadfastly reminded of and humbled by… all in 3 days 🙂

But more than anything, I am thankful for the experience of this weekend and the relationships that have come from it. I have friends! And they’re amazing girls that are younger than me, but no less FRIENDS! And I’ve already enjoyed coffee shop talks and sleepy morning breakfasts with quite a few of them… Oh my heart delights in these relationships. Pray with me that they only grow closer to each other and the Lord from here.

So was I exhausted? Yes. Were there a million things to do after the girls left? Well… Not really… They cleaned my house. 🙂 Was it a weekend that I’m glad to have spent the way I did? A million times YES! Over and over again, I would.

And truly… I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3-11)