There are so many things I have on my mind that I could post anything from the medicinal purposes of dark chocolate and red wine to triathlon training schedule to the amount of good people that have come into my life recently. However today is the Sabbath. Sabbath is generally a weekly day of rest and/or time of worship (thanks wikipedia). In small group we discussed how our culture and society doesn't take the time to reflect and have that day of the week for just rest and reflection. Going to church just becomes another activity in our list of things to do on Sunday... Church check, brunch check, laundry check... We hear a sermon, feel the heart prick, and then go on with the rest of our busy day. But do we take time to reflect on what was said? Do we really think what it means in my own life and bring it beyond just a pastor's sermon. Do we take action that could positively influence our own lives or others? I know I don't reflect enough on what I've learned Sunday mornings from JD, and Tuesday nights with the wonderful women in my small group. So this is my first step to being intentional, to direct my mind on the things I've learned with my mind and felt with my heart. Then figure out what God is trying to show me to do with my own life...
There's many things I could think about more, I mean who am I kidding people go to Seminary to study their whole lives, but for now I will take one common theme that has struck me today and the last few months "Live Sufficiently, Give Extravagantly." I know the first thing that comes to mind when I heard that phrase was live within your means and give to the church right? That's about as deep as it goes for most people. Throw in your pocket change into the offering basket/ bowl/ plastic tub and "give." To an extent I do think it means that and let's face it it does take money for the church to function and to fund projects to help the community. I gave my money to the believe project today and need to give more throughout the year. However I've starting thinking there is much more to give extravagantly.
As I've written before I've always been independent and self motivated. Sometimes to the point where I was a loner. I really didn't need anyone or anything to be successful in today's standards. I could go along doing my thing, living my life, only relying on myself and needing me... but what kind of life is that. I've always wanted people in my life, wanted friends and that connection like most people- but lately I feel like even that isn't enough. I'm feeling that tug something pushing me again, like there is something more I should be doing but I just don't know what. So here I am again at give extravagantly... for a while now I've wanted to do more, give more, do some good in other's lives and make a difference. How can I do this?
I'm not a nurse or a doctor, I sit in front of a computer all day how can I give every day? Lately I've seen it is just making that extra effort to listen to a friend. To see that someone may be going through something and ask. It's funny how easy it really is to connect with one another once we take a minute to really have a real conversation. I used to not want to overstep my bounds and was more of a private person, but I think it helps to share your story with each other. The more I have shared and then really listened to the real things that are going on in a friends or even a stranger's life the more it seems we have given to each other. Given "extravagantly" compared to what we normally do. Normally we ask superficial questions and have glossed over conversations, really giving nothing of our hearts and energy to the other person. So Give Extravagantly... give of my heart, time, and energy in every conversation. Really listen and don't shy away from the tough conversations because they aren't convenient or intimidating to start.
I also want to actively reach out to my community... I've been blessed to have a wonderful family and plenty of money and things growing up with both parents being teachers. I want to be see the needs in my community and beyond- not shy away from it... be shocked and unsettled. Friends who have traveled have shared their feelings and experiences saying it changes your whole perspective once you see the extent of the needs and struggles of others. I haven't had the opportunity to experience that but with Summit there is outreach and I know if I look there are opportunities... I just pray to not be selfish with my time and energy and give and get involved. It's so easy to not take that 5 minutes to sign up to help or to say I'm too busy. But I could never be too busy to gain a new perspective, to give to a cause or people who really need it after I've been blessed with so much. Since I am writing it here this is a way of holding myself accountable. I will update on what I do... serverdu is coming up now I just need to take the 5 minutes and sign up and GIVE.... There are other ways to give extravagantly but for now my brain is half asleep. Goodnight