God is there moving in your life and you often can’t see him doing the little things, making all the pieces fall into place so you can see the big picture. Well this is terrifying to me, I want to know everything, I want to know how this affected, that and how that affected this. I’m one of those movie watchers who loves to sit their and connect the dots from one detail to the next and often I know the end before anyone else. I like being able to predict things and as selfish as it is i like things to go my way, or at least the way I planned them to.
God often turns my life upside down and reminds me that he is the one with the plan, he is the one who knows everything and knows where I’m going and how I should get there even if I wander off the path a few times. Every single time God does this my heart gets all jumpy and my mind races and I have panic attacks and am scared for my future because I can’t predict it and can’t plan what is next.
Well the other day, someone told me that this might happen soon, God might not actually want me in this Internship, he might not want me to spend my next year learning about him through my community at the Austin Stone and how to serve him without reserve. Instead he might have completely different plan and he may not just turn my life upside down but also spin me around and leave me in a completely different spot then before. At first I began to have my usual panic attack and begin to reevaluate my options. But something stopped me, I know God has faith in me, to be able to do this internship and though I am horribly behind on my support raising I know he will provide for me as long as I trust him.
But as I go through the next 3 days I need prayer, I need your positive thoughts, and as hard as it is for me to ask of those who have already given me so much I need your help.
Yesterday I had the privilege for the first time in almost 4 months to attend service at the Austin Stone. Due to my job I have had a hard time being able to go to service on Sunday and get to experience the worship and community that make the Austin Stone so special. As God normally does to me after a long break from service he has the sermon speak to me in a way that leaves me in wonder of his glory and how he knows exactly what I am struggling with. Ben Stuart spoke last night and his energy radiated throughout the service, he made something serious laughable and in doing so he drove his point home and made it unforgettable, because with the memory of the jokes comes the memory of the lesson. I cannot believe I’m saying I’m jealous of something an Aggie has but I am jealous of their chance to listen to Ben preach on a regular basis.
For those of you who may not of gotten a chance to hear his sermon I highly recommend catching it on the podcast. Ben spoke of unity and focus in our faith, that we must come together and ignore our differences in order to serve God. To speak of our past struggles to others in faith and have our community help us move past our sin. While he was speaking about this he pointed out the biggest reason I struggle with this, he said that we believe that these are our own issues and no one else should have to deal with them, no one else should be weighed down by our sins and my faith should be enough to get me through this. From experience this is not true, you must have a community to turn to in those dark moments or else they will eat at you and pull you down.
God has graced me with people in my life who I can speak with, however it took a long time for me to find those people and an even longer time for me to open up to them. I encourage everyone to find someone to talk to or a group of people. I know if may seem like you are the only one struggling but you are not and as you begin to speak about your problems others will join you and pray for you. I will not say it is easy because it is not and I still fight with that want to handle my own problems but I know now that God works through everyone and to keep my heart strong for him I need others to be praying for me.
This is the first Sunday in a long time that I have missed KIDS at the Austin Stone. Right about now, nursery is putting the finishing touches on set up and pre school will be heading into their group volunteer time. Kids will be arriving soon and the hustle and bustle of church will be on it’s way. I primarily work in the Nursery right now and I absolutely love it there. The children in that hallway are just beginning to understand who God is and to see their pure love for Him already is overwhelming! They help me stay focused on Him all day even when screaming babies can seem to pull me away. However every once in a while I’ll venture over to the preschool hallway. This is where the real teachings of God begins, the children are old enough to begin understanding the stories and processing exactly how great God is. This group is the group that teaches me how to love God because when you ask them where God is they don’t always point to the sky, instead they point to their hearts. Now I am not saying Mexico is not amazing and it isn’t where God wants me to be right now but my heart still yearns to be back in the hallways of KIDS working with all ages, guiding them towards God just as they are guiding me.
Tomorrow my family and I debark on a trip to a little beach near Cancun Mexico. The area is home to many treasures including Mayan Ruins. I have been many places in the world and all of them have increased my aw for God and his greatness. When we visited the Alps in Switzerland you could almost feel God Smiling as the sun creased the peaks of the mountains and the Churches in Italy sing praises and love to the Lord through their architecture. With these experiences I cannot even begin to imagine what it will be like to visit such an old culture one that has had such an impact on the World. I cannot wait to see what God shows me through them and their greatness, I am excited to learn about their culture first hand and see where God shines through.
Today is Nelson Mandela day, the internet is littered with his quotes, his success and the great deeds he has done the world. This quote in particular has stuck with me all day, it makes me think about how when we fall in sin God is always there to help us back up again and how when little children physically fall parents, and other adults are their to help them up and make sure that they are okay. This act of picking up a child when they fall is how we teach them that this is what God will be doing for them the rest of their lives. Children learn about unconditional love, before they can speak they learn it from the dedication of their parents and so when they can understand and can learn fully about God they know exactly what we are telling them. We are telling them that their is someone out their who loves them more then their parents. Someone who is their to pick them up even when their parents don’t see them fall. This concept of love is so crucial to understand God at an early age, that we must show all children they are loved.
I have always gone to church. I was baptized as a one year old with my two brothers at the church I grew up in and I loved that church for many years. I was comfortable there, I knew the halls backwards and forwards, I knew all the hiding spots and had spent more than a few nights there playing sardines and running around with my youth group. I knew everyone and everyone knew me. I worked hard for all the beads on my acolyte necklace (one for every year and Christmas event) I stood at the lectern every couple of Sundays and read from the new testament. I was so involved in church activities that no one realized I wasn’t actually attending church. I would work at the coffee shop during morning service and do youth group in the evening. The church was my home and I felt safe there. I felt safe in the community and in the building but being there was not helping me grow in my faith. During the years I attended that church I began going to a Christian Youth camp called LLYC. ( I could not recommend a better camp for youth growing in their faith) This camp was the first place I felt God growing in me, convicting me to change. To stop only serving the church and to begin attending it, and for two weeks after camp I would be convicted enough to sit through long services filled with politics and opinions that didn’t really feel right to me and then I would lull back into my usual routine of serving. But when I was 16 at camp I had written myself a letter asking myself if I had made a change to my church life? It arrived just as I was finishing up my Confirmation class. Nothing about that class had made me happy to be confirming my faith to that denomination and I spent most of the class being a devils-advocate. However I had always grown up believing this was the next step in my faith and I wasn’t going to miss out on checking all the boxes! The Sunday after my confirmation my cousins invited me to the Austin Stone to try it out they had noticed I was struggling a little bit and I think they knew I needed a change. One sermon was all it took and I was hooked, the worship made me feel more at home then the building I had grew up in and the sermon had me on the edge of my seat. God had brought me to a place that could bring me back to him. Unlike camp that ended after two weeks The Austin Stone never stopped. It was what called me home from college on the weekends and is guiding me through my next steps in my education. It took me a long time to really know what believing in Jesus and God meant and though I grew up in faith and it the church and new all the stories I don’t think I was really sure of anything till after a few years at the Austin Stone but I don’t think I would be where I am today with out it.
For those of you who are looking for a little bit more information and giving support here you go!
I am always looking for partners to join through financial support. Monthly partnership is the best way to get involved but it is certainly not the only option:
These are tax-deductible gifts. There will not be a “credit card processing” charge. Your information will only be used for billing, to give you a tax receipt at the end of the year, and to update you throughout my internship.
If you prefer, you can donation via check. All checks should be made out to ‘Austin Stone Institute’ with ONLY ‘ASI-INT-0930′ in the memo line. They should be mailed to the following address:
Austin Stone Community Church
Attn: Kay Clow
1033 La Posada Dr, Ste. 210
Austin, TX 78752
I have not spoken to much about where I want to go after this internship except for the occasional hint towards adoption and the adoption world. During the internship I will still be attending school at ACC and at Texas State in the spring, I will get my degree in political science, graduating on time in 2016. I then will return to the world of kids, except now a little broader then just the city of Austin. I intend to get a job with or intern with an adoption agency, my end goal is to work one on one with children and families to make the process as smooth as possible. Orphans have gone through enough in their lives already and the adoption process can be long and tedious, I want to be able to help children get to their new loving families as quickly as possible. I also want to help eliminate difficulties and the corruption. Helping young children should be simple and easy making every able family want to do it. But right now the process is long and tedious often deterring amazing families away from what could save a childs life and make a wonderful family.
World Orphans has served as a helping hand for adoption agencies and is also involved in helping children who cannot leave their hard situations make the best of it. Helping them change the lives of others around them and doing as much is possible with what they have.
Sorry about the delay, things have gotten crazy over here! I am still working with College Nannies and Tutors and there is not a dull moment with that company. I have been swamped with work and school, however that does not mean I should neglect you.
God has been moving pieces in my life recently that I’m so excited about! I have been invited to help with a new Vision series at church, I am slowly leaving my job and as sad as that sounds I am so excited for my next step as an intern. I also am raising support… It is rather slow but I am getting there. I do not know how much I’ve raised so that is difficult I find it motivating as well. I keep having to raise the courage to talk to people, let them know I’m a part of this amazing opportunity and that I could really use their help!
Please if you know anyone who is able to help and support me in anyway let me know! I would love to talk to them.
This video had popped on my facebook and caught my attention, like most sports related things do. I went to high school just down the street from Reagan at LBJ. For those of you who don’t know, the rivalry between is pretty steep and I can tell you it is because the kids at both schools are not coming from very different situations. They don’t see the other school as better and they want that to be shown on the field. I can also tell you that no two schools in Austin couldn’t benefit more from Coach Carey and those like him. The School has so much heart to give and all the students need are leaders and teachers who can show them how to use it.
People like Coach Carey, and their dedication to those who need it the most are the people who give me inspiration to strive to serve everyone!