From patience to passion

This past year I've felt like God has been teaching me what it means to be patient. Patient in

-my job

-my friendships

-my "stage of life"

-my plans

Patience has at times been nagging, frustrating and discouraging.  But, it's also been comforting, promising and restful.  I came across this verse in 1 Timothy 6:6 the other day, "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment." In my own life it seems I can't disentangle patience and contentment.  And the contentment that I've found in patience really does make me feel closer to God.

I once read a blog where someone said they picked a new word every year that they felt like God was laying on their hearts. I didn't pick patience intentionally (trust me), but God has been faithful in teaching me it anyway. And even though I still have a lot more to learn about patience, I feel like He has given me a new word...a word He'll teach me to live by.

Passion.

I don't know how He's going to do it, because (confession time) I've been feeling a lack of passion lately in almost every area. But, on my trip to the Dominican Republic I felt a glimpse of that passion once again. And it was so sweet and at the same time freeing.

So, (raises glass) to a new phase of learning to be passionate in the midst of patient contentment...here we go.

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Living in the Gray

The "Gray Area."

That terrible place that people refer to when they don't know whether they're in a relationship or not.

Thankfully, that's not the gray area I'm referring to.  Less thankfully, the gray area I'm referring to is my life.

I tend to look back on my life as a series of colors....well not colors I suppose, but more shades of light (is that weird?).  When I look back on times that I really enjoyed, everything seems light. Times in my life that were hard are tinted darker...you get the idea.

It's easy to love those light moments, and at least you know life is clearly black in those dark moments.

But, the grey area is tricky.  It's that place where you don't love where you are, but you don't know where you're going.  Where you don't know how to change the present moment even though you want to.  Where you have a lot to be thankful for, and yet you long for more.

So, how do you live here?  How do I live here?

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure.

But, here's what I've come up with.

  -Trust that God has a plan, and that He is faithful. (1 Peter 4:19) Which leads me to...

  -Patience (I don't love learning this, but it seems to be the theme of my year).

  -Find those small things every day to be thankful for. (today I'm thankful for this awesome Christmas videoearl grey tea, blankets, my roomie Rachael who "studies" with me and the fact that I don't have to leave the house today (ahh 9 degrees!))

 -Remind myself that life is made up of seasons, and seasons come and go, as this one soon will. I might as well learn from it for as long as I can. 

"Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again." -Sarah Ban Breathnach

PS- Ironic that you can spell gray with either an "a" or an "e"

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Something to look forward to

When I went to the Philippines for the first time I was a little intimidated.

I was headed to a country that I knew nothing about, where I didn't fit in (literally they have tiny transportation and one little boy asked me, "Are you a giant woman?"), with people I didn't know that well.

One of my friends wrote me a letter for the airplane and her understanding calmed my nerves. She had recently gone on a trip to Haiti and said that while yes, she was in Haiti, she was just living life there...she was living life in Haiti, just like I'd be living life in the Philippines.

And honest to goodness that's really how it felt. Sometimes I would walk down the city streets and forget that I was halfway around the world. I still had the same struggles (compounded a bit by the lack of toilet seats, freezing cold showers, and giant cockroaches), just in a different country.

I'm at a place in my life where I just want to go somewhere new, somewhere different and I need to remind myself that wherever I go I'll still be living my life there. Things would be different, sure, but I wouldn't escape all my problems because well, there is no escaping myself.

Which means one thing: patience.

I've been realizing that patience really is a virtue, one I find I lack more and more. Patience, waiting for God's call instead of making my own, is the key to success (and an unfortunate reality for a planner like myself). 

But, I think that patience leads to contentment. Not contentment that dwells in apathy, but a fiery contentment that's filled with peace and motivation and trust. It's a patience I look forward to.

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