Ok first of all, I need to take a moment to mourn the loss of my favorite places on campus. The swings. They took them down for the hurricane, and haven't put them back up! Rumor is that they might not... ever! There is one swing left, and it is the one by the SUB. I love the swings. boo I am legit sad, yall. In memory of the swings, I have the oldest picture I can find and the newest one I have on these swings... Mind you, there are many many more in between, from middle school, high school, and all through college. First Fountain Mall, then the Bear Tombs, now the swings... what next, Judge Baylor? They are taking away all our photo ops!! If I don't get to take pictures of my kids on the swings, future homecomings have the potential of being LAME.
Anyways, sorry about that, I needed to mourn. So on Friday, I went to hang out with one of my campers and her family!! It was one of my top experiences of the semester, for sure!! She is the camper who asked me what my angle was and asked our PD if she should be Mary or Jesus for the Christmas night and wrote our APD a hilarious get better card. The girl is amazing, I love her! We played games, jumped on the trampoline, fed deer.. yeah that's right, about 18 deer came up to the house and hung out with us for a while. It was so weird. Her dad had brought back some Hermit Crabs and she hadn't named them yet, so I encouraged her to do so! And she named them Troggie, Elphie, Funky, PT, Pappy, Pau Pau, and Mark. When she prayed for dinner, she thanked Jesus for all of us there, and Pau Pau. She wrote down a list of questions for me titled, "What Troggie is REELY like:" and then another paragraph about my family. It's awesome.
I loved every moment of it. Her parents are incredible, her 12 year old sister is adorable, and she is such a joy. It was so nice just to be able to play... Not be her mom, not try to teach her gymnastics... just play.
A lot of different themes have been coming up in my life recently... Safety, complacency, love...
I am a fairly opinionated person, I suppose, and complacency makes me want to throw up. Just being smuggly satisfied with a lame life because you are too lazy to change anything is lame. I like that word, I've discovered.
Anyways... What does it look like to do the right thing instead of the safe thing? I so often just want what's easy, what's comfortable, what's safe... But in that complacency, I am missing out on life and hurting those who really care. Safe is comfortable, but I like change and challenges. Life involves faith... risk... and if I'm just chillaxing in the background, I might miss out on something huge God has planned.
Love... oooh man this one is a good one! What does it mean to love someone? I mean, seriously. To love in general... anyone. We are told to love, but what does that even mean? I feel like the dictionary definition is kind of lame: "an intense feeling of deep affection." Well, okay, but what is affection? "a gentle feeling of fondness or liking." LAME. If that's all love is, then why is it so hard? I don't have a deep affection for those who hate me, who are mean to me, those who are just annoying. But I am called to love them... I don't think Jesus is telling me to affectionately adore them. I feel like love involves sacrifice. Jesus demonstrated the greatest love by dying for me. He says that when we obey Him, we love Him... By placing His will above my own, I love. John 13 talks about how Jesus showed His disciples the full extent of His love by washing their feet. He humbled Himself to the point of nothing... foot washing was an act that even Jewish slaves did not perform, because it made them unclean. By stripping Himself of His glory, He humbled Himself to a servant, and loved us to the full extent of His love. This makes simple affection seem shallow. In our society, we love in order to gain something in return. In Jesus' Kingdom, we are to love regardless of the response. Jesus fully loved the man who was literally about to betray Him to the point of death. And He loved him. And love isn't to make us feel good. We love in order to bring God glory. That's all that matters! So what does it mean to tell someone you love them? The only way I love ever is by allowing God's love to reflect off of me... like the moon! *Thanks Matt Lantz! :)*
"Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated others, and they hated us. But then God our Savior showed us His kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy... He declared us not guilty because of His great kindness." -- Titus 3
Man, blows my mind! He's so great! I strive to look like my Jesus... my life is not a checklist of dos and don'ts, time specific quiet times and tasks to be completed... It is about love. Jesus' love flowing through me and bouncing off me. It's about abiding and obeying.