So, from the top...
Reflecting on last week, I realize God speaks pretty clearly sometimes, if you're willing to open yourself up and listen. Each day I've been reading My Utmost For His Highest and journaling on the train. (Journaling = praying and speculating and daydreaming and getting lost in my thoughts.) It's been a great way to start my day, to get my brain juices flowing, to get me thinking and praying and praising. God has blessed me with so, so many things and people and situations, I can't help but find joy in my life.
I've been working on reevaluating many different areas in my life, especially the way I spend my money and my time. I'm quite selfish with both and do well to do what I want, when I want to, and I'm finding that I need to be a little bit less controlling and a lot more flexible... also much less selfish and more aware of the needs around me.
So I decided this weekend that I wouldn't spend money and that I wouldn't go out. And I didn't.
Friday I went to Axis Experience at Willow Creek (South Barrington) with Ian and Erin and Amiel (I hope I spelled that right). I had never been, but it ended up being a really great night. Worship was awesome and I met Jon Peacock and he was cool and I actually met a lot of really great people. Got to see and catch up with some friends. It was just really good. They're working on supporting something called House of Hope in Prague and it was really heart breaking. They're sending teams to help build the house (but I don't really remember what exactly it's for, oops) and I kind of want to go. We'll see. Point is, God was and is moving and He is so great.
Saturday morning I worked at the Crystal Lake Food Pantry with a group from my church. I assisted clients coming in to get their food - so I brought them around to each aisle and based on their family size let them know how much they were allotted. The last woman I helped was Spanish-speaking and she started crying while we were walking through and I felt helpless. I had already been thinking lately how badly I want to brush up on my Spanish skills, and here was exhibit A. Seriously. God might as well have written on my wall on Facebook, plain as day, "Jess- Become fluent in Spanish so you can minister to Spanish-speaking people." And if God had a Facebook, I would have clicked, "Write on God's wall," and I would have written, "Okay God."
I didn't end up going to the Young Life leadership training meeting today. The train schedule didn't work with when I needed to be there, and then Melissa needed me to pick her up from the train, and I wanted to go to church, and I didn't want to drive down to school, plus I had no money for gas... so, I decided it was smarter not to go. I'm going to still look into it this week and hopefully meet up with the girl who's leading it, but we'll see.
Instead I turned in my application at my church to help out with the high school students, and went to that tonight. I hate that I'm shy and that somehow I don't know what to say. I'm working on it and I'm getting stronger and more confident, but it takes effort. A lot of it, sometimes. I met a bunch of people tonight and I don't remember most of their names but it'll come. The world is really small and keeps getting smaller. I keep meeting people and finding out we have mutual friends... it's the craziest, most fun thing ever.
This blog wasn't as in depth or well written or exciting as I wanted it to be, but I had to get it out now. I'm so so so tired, but I had a great weekend, and God really is moving and I really am changing and I'm so excited to be involved in ministries that are helping people. I love my life and I'm so so glad that God is using me. And I'm humbled.
My heart is growing and it's breaking for the broken hearted and I can't help but do my part to bring hope and to redeem the lost.
Live urgently, friends. We're in the last hour. (1 John 2:18)
This love branches out like an oak tree
Reach for the sky and roots to the sea
So when you're shaken down and broken
Find some peace of mind in knowing...
Suddenly I feel you holding me
Sweep me away
Suddenly I feel your hand in mine
Sweep me away
Suddenly I feel you leading me
Sweep me away
Suddenly I feel your heart in mine
Sweep me away