Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thankful Thursday: a changed heart & changed life

well shoot
happy Thankful Thursday to you

i feel as if it's been forever.
i guess it kind of has been.
july is over halfway over
and a few days ago i returned home 
from staffing a summer project with Cru.
for five weeks i was living in a bubble 
where i had absolutely no concept of time
where i was completely cut off from my normal life and relationships 
{literally we had no cell reception}
where i shared a bed with someone i didn't know
 where the only people i saw were those i worked with
because we lived together in very (and I mean VERY) tight quarters.
oh and we can't forget that rancid smell coming from our freezer and refrigerator that permeated our apartment....

and you know what?
i loved every stinking second of it.

so today I am thankful for
the ways in which God has changed my heart
{and life}
 totally unexpected friendships
a wide assortment of answered prayers
nights of uncontrollable laughter
sharing a bed with this cool gal

apartment #24
 rooftop hangouts
fogo de choa
party buses
hillsong concerts
new rainbow sandals
awesome tan lines
living on the beach
amazing sunsets

pride and prejudice
surprise visitors at the door
meeting people from all around the world
uncomfortable situations
learning how to be a better decision maker
{still working on it}
learning to find my confidence in the Lord
the oh so lovely admiral

learning how to find joy and rejoice over unenjoyable situations
exploring what it looks like to be a daughter of god
coffee all day every day
not getting a parking ticket
an awesome tandal san, i mean sandal tan
face time
mint lemonade from tender greens
having an open apartment door ready for anyone to come in
blueberry mint lemonade, food truck friday and my sweet friend stephanie...

really learning how to make relationships work
the ways in which God unites and bonds people together
getting to tangibly experience how unique God has designed his greatest and most beautiful creation
softball games and scraped knees

impromptu potluck dinners
waking up to the sound of kids running up and down the hall
walking barefoot from my apartment to the beach
sweet conversations at urth cafe
my action group girls

bible studies, dinners and church at t-bap
mr epic man and how animals eat their food
late nights watching youtube
hangouts in the hallway
falling asleep to the sound of waves
a roommate who also likes country music
a roommate who brings me coffee before i'm even out of bed
getting to know these 4

the importance of community
for all the situations in which i was forced to trust god and those around me
the ways in which people rallied around me and fought for me in hard situations
learning that it's ok to let people see me cry
god's faithfulness
making new friends at the coffee bean
watching god work in the lives of those around me
the ways god restores and redeems
for all the lives that god has changed, is changing and will change

and last but not least
i am thankful that i was wrong
{yes you heard me right}
confession time:
i had an unbelievably bad attitude towards going on summer project
my heart was hard.
i had no desire to go.
i didn't want to use up my time and energy to meet new people
i didn't want to share a bed let alone a room with anyone
i was tired from a rough and long year at uci
i didn't want to do anymore ministry
i didn't want to share my faith
 i didn't want to be put in uncomfortable situations
and i had a lot of preconceived notions about the people i'd be with
i. i. i.
it was all about me.
my plan was to get in, get out and get on with my life.
talk about being selfish.

praise god that i quickly learned how much i was in the wrong.
some time during that first week with my staff team
god began a work in me that i never saw coming.
before i could even do anything about it he slowly was changing my heart
and opening my eyes to some pretty harsh realities about my life.
and i'm here to tell you that he used 
each and every one of these men and women to do it.

i have no doubt that god intentionally hand picked each one of these people
to be on that project,
in that place and at that time.
he used each person on this specific staff team to significantly change my life
 and i wouldn't trade any of my time with them
{the good, the bad, or the ugly}
for anything.
i am thankful that
 it was all beautifully orchestrated by the Lord.

What are you thankful for?...