About Impact

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Enjoying simplicity

This holiday season has been far better than last year. For the most part, my birthday last year was a horrible day! While celebrating Christmas in Indy, the three of us girls didn't sleep in the same hotel room. Anna and Ryan weren't able to make it home for New Year's. There was also some tricky things going on in my own life. Simply put, there was a lot of adjusting that had to be done on my part and I wasn't handling it well.

There is still some adjusting this year. I was the only one able to come to Grandpa's with Mom and Dad. I'm the only one not married in the family. There will be no staff retreat for the first time in several years, which solidifies the fact even more that my time there is over. And though that makes things a little different it has been a fantastic holiday. I've had lots of time with AMAZING friends and even more to come. Both of my mom's brothers were able to come for Christmas day this year, the first time in many years!

The whole thing has been relaxing and very enjoyable. It is so nice to not have the drama and pain. It is funny how much more enjoyable the holidays are without all of that junk. Things are simple and refreshing. It is probably one of the greatest breaks I've had in a few years. Praise God for periods of rest before diving back into his work full force!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Good day!

Today has been a pretty good day. School was a bit stressful but there is only a half-day left!!! I enjoyed a cup of coffee at Bella Vita and then went to New Community. I had the privilege to celebrate my good friend Jason's "ordination." I am so proud of him for being willing to take the step of faith and commit his life to serving in ministry. God has such huge things planned for him. Now I'm chilling with my friend Erin at her apartment. I love friends.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

All of the Sudden...

When and how did life get so confusing?!

What am I going to do?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Connected

This has been a fantastic weekend. You can read more about the birthday excitement here. Here are a few thoughts as I’ve done some reflecting. The first is that I’ve realized how spending time with people you care about is so important to me. This weekend I’ve had the chance to actually hang out with friends for more than just grabbing a rushed meal. I realized how much a really miss that. I love every minute I get to catch up with friends, but there is something even more exciting about setting aside a chunk of time and just being together. After one day of just hanging out I feel more encouraged and energized than I have in months. God seems to keep driving home this idea of being a body.

I’ve realized how blessed I am to have rubbed shoulders with so many incredible people in my life. Some of these people it was one day on a music tour when we performed at their church. Some it was working along side them for a few years in ministry. Some of them are friends that I don’t have the opportunity to see but have left a mark in my life. And some I see more often and each time I drive away thanking God he has placed them in my life. Today I’ve thought about random people I’ve met over the last few years that are reflections of Christ and it has challenged me to think about whether or not I have been reflecting Christ in the same way.

Mark talked this weekend about how things we do and say have an affect on those around us. Even the little things we don’t think about do. This weekend I was hanging out with some friends and one of them left without saying goodbye and I was crushed. I thought about it and told myself that that person probably didn’t even realize they did. (This is most likely the case!) But it still was disappointing to me. Such a tiny thing that doesn’t seem like a big deal was to me. Have I thought about how my behavior affects others? A couple weeks ago some pieces came together for me and I realized how a couple tiny choices I’ve made over the last couple years had deeply impacted a very close friend of mine. Those two small decisions conveyed something much larger to this friend and in a way I think I really disappointed him. It isn’t always a negative affect. This week I did one thing that seemed like an insignificant thing to me and found out later it completely changed an individual’s day and helped them face some tough things. Did I know that when I took the two seconds to do it? No. One action impacted someone else in ways I didn’t expect.

To sum it up, we are connected. Will we disappoint others? Yes. Will others disappoint us? Probably. Should this change how we treat each other? Only to challenge us to love more and reach out to everyone we cross paths with. Sure we will miss the mark at times but that is why God has given us grace. He will teach us how to love. We just have to allow him to do it and be willing to respond.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Middle of Nowhere

God, God...my God! Why did you dump me miles from nowhere?

hmmm...sounds like me.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Snow Day with C. S. Lewis

First of all the new profile picture is of me and my next door neighbor, Granny, I wrote about in a previous post. Isn't she so cute?! (***Edited 11:15 PM - I talked to my mom right before service tonight and she told me that she took a turn for the worse. My aunt (her daughter) is flying in from Missouri tomorrow and they will start her on "comfort medicine." If you could pray for her that would be great.)

We had a snow day yesterday. I enjoyed sleeping in but we really needed that rehearsal time. After sleeping in I decided not to clean my apartment or grade papers. I decided to just read something for the sake of reading. Since I’ve been attempting to reread The Chronicles of Narnia series for the last four years I decided to grab Prince Caspian. One thing I love about C. S. Lewis is that his most simple thoughts seem to have the most impact. I love some of his writings that are a little heavier but there is just as much value in the simple letters he wrote to all the children who loved his books. I forgot my copy of the book but I wanted to share a few thoughts from my reading today.

In this book the four children return to Narnia to find that hundreds, maybe thousands of years have past since they left. They end up going on a journey to help Prince Caspian. In the middle of the night Lucy wanders off and sees Aslan. She runs as fast as she can to meet him. After embracing him, she comments about how much bigger he is. He tells he is not bigger she is. Of course this is confusing to Lucy. Aslan explains, “The older you get the bigger I become.” WOW!!!

I was just commenting to Dr. Bob the other day that is seems like the older I get the more complicated following Christ becomes. And though that may be true, I am amazed at how much larger my God is now. The things he has done just in the past few weeks proves this. But even more so the relationship I have with him now reflects a much bigger God than a year ago. I can’t begin to explain or comprehend how big God is and to think that a year from now he will appear even bigger just blows my mind. How awesome is that?!

Later on in the conversation Lucy asks Aslan to forgive her for not leaving the others and following the first time she thought she saw him. She didn’t follow because she was afraid and didn’t know what would happen. I wish I had the book to share Aslan’s response, but I’ll have to put it in my words. Basically he says to her she could never have known what would happen if she would have followed and she never could have known what would have happened if she didn’t. The only way for her to know is to follow. Lucy stood in front of Aslan and wondered what her decision not to follow cost. But that wasn’t Aslan’s point. His point was what would Lucy do next time. And it wasn’t long before she was faced with that choice. Would she follow on her own or go with the group? Umm…

Ouch! That one hit pretty hard. So many times when I look back over the last few years I wonder, what would have happened if I would have done this or not done that. What if I would have went this direction instead of that. Who cares? It can’t be changed now. And the only way I’ll know what will happen is if I simply follow God’s lead. It sounds so easy but I make it so complicated. What will I do the next time I see God move? Will I follow when I hear him whisper “Sarah, come this way. Sarah, speak out. Sarah, love them.” Will I?