brain farts

It’s Christmas! 🎄

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Christmas 2k14 has been today and gone tonight…it was a day filled with good food and awesome family!

but did I once consider the real meaning, reason and purpose for today’s festivities? I don’t think so. Not nearly enough. Isaiah 9:6 is my verse for today and I only read it once. There is so much depth and gravity to that verse – to all verses really – and the only thing I really thought about today was that someone seemed to get a better gift than me. Crap. That really is not a good enough effort, especially considering the weight that today holds.

Isaiah 9:6 Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams,a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift.And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair, He is great.The power of leadership, and the weight of authority, will rest on His shoulders.His name? His name we’ll know in many ways—He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing,Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.

What do all these words mean when they’re read in context and through the filter of the Holy Spirit and God’s true breath? God gave His creation the strongest and greatest ‘glue’ to fix what had been broken. He loved what He had made so ridiculously much that He sent a part of a himself to earth in a tiny, screaming baby so that we would always have the opportunity to be in real relationship with the One who truly loves and knows us the most. What greater love could there be?! God wanted so much for each of us to find solace and life in His arms that He became physical and real to show us how and why.

THAT’S what today is about. The true love of an incredible Creator and His woman-born Son who came to reach out and simply love as we need it most.

Happy Christmas, it is indeed because ‘hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams, a child is born…

Blessings.

brain farts

Work at it

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Do you have hopes? Dreams? Desires? Unplanned adventures lying semi-dormant in your imagination…?

Do you wake up some mornings with a sigh and think I wish I was living that dream or adventure…?

Do you make amazing plans and fill up on what you think is complete motivation, but find later on that it’s all drained away and your plans are collecting dust in the corner?

I can answer yes to all of the above…I have so many dreams and hopes that I probably can’t list them all anymore! Some are more practical and straight forward than others, but they’re still dreams nonetheless. At first, I kept getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of my dreams – no joke, I told myself to stop living in a fantasy world! Then I felt like I should only dream dreams that are somewhat achievable…as in, I could actually live that dream if I got to a certain point in my life where it would fit in.

…but then I thought, why? Why do I have to wait to get to a certain point in my journey to live out a dream or a see a desire realised or a hope fulfilled? God has given me these desires and dreams and hopes for a reason – and He completely knows them! My journey is filled with twists and turns and leaps and bounds and highs and lows – and God is guiding me through each, allowing me to feel the things I feel. But if I sit back, coast along and just get by with the bare minimum I will never see these dreams come to any kind of realisation.

Nothing worth having comes easy

Your hopes, desires and dreams are so worth having, pursuing and fighting for because they are important to God, but you and I – we need to do our part.

The more I think on this, the more my motivation to see my dreams come to reality rises…I need to put in the hard yards because it will be so worth it!

Life in youth ministry

Collision and Kaleidoscope

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Today marks a year in youth ministry. Four school terms. Two semesters. One Easter Camp. One Fourth of July shindig. One Murder Mystery Dinner. Countless Bible engagement nights. Four small group activities. Two state Baptist gatherings. One AWESOME leadership team.

It’s been a year of souring highs – Friday nights where you leave elated, on fire & with more energy than you had after two coffees at lunch…but also of crushing lows, leaving you wondering ‘am I actually where I’m meant to be?’ I’ve served alongside some incredibly inspiring people whose hearts for the Lord will continue to astound me and it’s been my privilege to learn from those who have been in the field longer than myself too, watching them work, mingle and love the youth that God brings to our church family.

Reflecting on an insanely outstanding hear, there are a few things that I have learnt along the way that I hope will stay with me and be a part of next year’s youth ministry journey…

1) I’m not good at small talk. I get flustered. I don’t really know where to start & I get tongue tied…but even in my inability to communicate sometimes I found that this year, a lot of the best conversations I had stemmed from my persistence with small talk. I fought back. I ignored my desire to run the other way, and instead engaged in conversation with top-notch leaders, friends and youth kids. Sometimes I ask God for deeper conversations with people and He gives me opportunities to foster this through small talk.

2) Power really is a drug…better keep that one in check! There’s a fine line between tripping out on power and just being a good and efficient leader sometimes and I’d hate to think that I enjoyed being in charge so much that I spun out of control. Being aware of my abilities and limitations as a leader should never be tossed aside in favour of a prestigious title or tight reins on fellow workers.

3) It really IS all about the kids. End of the day – I wouldn’t HAVE a job if they weren’t around. Everything we prep during the week, everything we plan and execute and buy and set up and pray over and organise and dream is all a waste if it isn’t with the kids in mind. God has placed us each in this ministry field to LOVE and SERVE them, and if we’re merely planning events that mean they’re out of their parents hair for one night or they aren’t at home playing Xbox or surfing the web, then we’ve missed the point. They, as young people with incredible potential and who are crazy-loved by their Creator, are the reason we do what we do. Not the ‘tick the box’ mentality or the fun we have (though that’s a real bonus!) or how good it might all look on a resume…the eternal nature of what we do with and for these kids is the big reason. God in their lives is what it’s about.

4) Pray. I forget this. I get wrapped up in tasks, in lists, in making sure things are ready to go when the time is right that prayer seems like just ‘something else’ I’d better do. But if I STARTED all of that – all of my to-do lists – with prayer, it might actually feel less like a chore and more like a kick-off. If I started everything I have to organise off with prayer, then everything that I had to organise might not feel like such a chore either…and my heart realigns with point 3) above – why God has got me doing what I’m doing and who it’s all about.

I’m sure there are a bunch of other lessons I learnt this year, but at the moment as I think back over this past year in what I can safely say has been just an amazing journey filled with God’s timely blessings, these are the most standout tonight. The year has been a collision of ideas, movements, desires, trials and adventures. It’s been a kaleidoscope of emotions and experiences – from uni to youth ministry to friends and family. There are tidbits to be picked up and cherished in every adventure and every journey, and I’m thankful for everyone that I experienced 2014 with and every lesson that God has gently brought me to and through…

2015, what do you hold…?

(Image courtesy of Pinterest…)