Sunday, February 10, 2013

Step by Step

I've just completed week four of my half-marathon training. I've had some great runs and some really, really difficult runs and run farther than I've ever run before. Much to my surprise, it is my shorter runs that are more difficult and my longer runs that are easier and more enjoyable. When I run, I take flashcards with Bible verses on them and memorize Scripture at every mile. The first four verses I've got down! The verses for miles 5 through 7 I'm still working on. Before I registered for the OC Half-Marathon, I was really excited to challenge myself in a new way. Once I actually committed and signed up for it, I felt crazy. I've never really been a runner, I have no business being registered for a HALF-MARATHON! When I was thinking about New Year's Resolutions and what I felt God calling me to in this year, a half marathon kept coming up. I had found one I was interested in over Christmas break and talked with friends about doing it but wasn't sure if I was actually going to follow through. My goal was to run at least one half-marathon before I graduate from Biola. So now I have myself committed to running and enjoying it for the most part. Every run feels and looks different for me. Last semester I did not run much. So when I came back to school in January and started running again, it felt like the hardest thing I had ever done. This also contributed to me feeling like an idiot signing up to do a half marathon. I knew that this was something I was not doing alone though, God would be with every step, every mile, and every day as I prepared for the race. I knew two miles was not much and I could probably do it with no problem. Much to my surprise, some two mile days have been extremely difficult for me! The days I head out thinking I can conquer a run with ease and it's no big deal and I can rely on my own strength, those are the days that God tells me, "you need Me everyday". Long runs I know there is no chance in the world I can finish without the grace and strength of God helping me every step of the way.
Today I got to surprise my best friend Ari and go to her church to hear her perform my favorite song she has written called Quiet Streams. Last night I did my homework and laundry so I could spend the day in Laguna with her and her family after church. Since I was in an eight hour class yesterday (yes it was Saturday, yes it was awful, and yes I hated every moment of it), I did not have time to go my long run. The training schedule I am following has me running 2-5 miles on the week days and longer runs on the weekends. Saturday I was supposed to run 8 miles. Sadly I did not get to. I was kind of dreading having to run that far because I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish after some disappointing shorter runs this week. Today when I came down to Ari's house I brought my shoes because there is a beautiful path to the beach and great places to run by her house! So I started my run trusting that the Lord would help get through the next 8 miles. IT WAS AN AMAZING RUN! I enjoyed every second of it and trusted that God would help me fight the pain, keep going, and conquer the hills!
As I was running on the sand, I saw lots of foot prints. Some were bare feet, some were running shoes, some were big, some were small, and I even saw some animal foot prints. As I was running and praying along the shore, I heard God tell me, "Child, I am with you every step of the way. Step by step I will guide you and lead you on the path I have for you." This brought me extreme peace knowing that I didn't have to think about how much farther I had to go, or what I had to face this week, but that I could enjoy and trust God each step of the way as I finished my run and as I go about my daily life learning what it means to be His disciple. God is revealing Himself to me in new ways this semester and I am so excited that each step of the way on my journey through Biola, He has been there guiding me exactly where He wants me. He lead me to Biola, called me to be an elementary ed major, and has allowed me to serve in various leadership roles during my time here. I have full faith that as I continue to grow and learn at Biola, He will guide me along the path He has designed for me.
Putting one foot in front of the other,

Trust Me

I've been thinking a lot about next year lately. Thinking about where I will work, where I will live, and who I will be living with. This has caused me to stress a little bit about what next year holds because I honestly have no idea. Last weekend when I was driving home from AZ with friends, I had a lot of time to think. (My road trip to Phoenix with my best friends and to see Emily dance was great by the way!) I was worrying a lot about next year. As we drove across the middle of no where and my friends were reading, I was looking at the sky. As time wore on, the sunset across the sky would change and be more beautiful than the picture God painted just minutes earlier. I kept asking God what I was supposed to do next year about work and housing. While I wish He gave a clear cut answer about what He has in store, He whispered two words to me over and over. Trust Me. These are words I know. This is something I try so hard to do but often fail at. When I came back to school there was lots of talk about next year and while I do not have all the answers, I know that God has a plan and in His perfect timing He will reveal that to me.
In addition to thinking about school next year, I have been thinking a lot about this summer. I applied to a new camp for this summer called Mount Hermon in Santa Cruz. A lot of people from school have worked there before and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about it! This week I had an interview with them when they came to visit Biola. I had no idea if I would get hired and with it being a new place I have never been, I have no idea what to expect. But through the whole process, God has been reminding me to trust Him. Trust that He has a plan and if He wants me to work at Mount Hermon, He will place me in the place me wants me to serve. Saturday night I received a call from them offering me a job as a junior high and high school counselor for the summer! I am so excited and incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to serve there this summer!! As far as anything for school next, I haven't quite figured things out. But I'm going to keep trusting the sovereign God who loves us and has a plan.
Learning to trust more and more,

Birthday Blessings

I am so blessed by an amazing family and incredible friends! After finishing Interterm, I got to go home for a few days and celebrate my birthday with my family. My mother being the hostess that she is said we could have people over and she would make a cake and blah blah blah but I wanted nothing more than to simply go out to dinner with my family and spend time relaxing with them. I so enjoyed a low key weekend going to dinner and spending time hanging out with my mom in the kitchen, doing stuff with my sister, playing guitar with my brother, and watching a movie with dad. My parents also took me to a running shoe store to get new running shoes for my half-marathon training. It was really cool to try shoes on that specifically support my arch time and run around the store to find the best fit. When we were sitting there I turned to my dad and said, "This is weird, I'm like almost a real runner." He chuckled and said, "There's a lot of things that are weird, like that you are going to be 21." The comments my dad make always make me smile. When I came back to school, I had RA training for two days. It was great to be reunited with my staff! On my staff, I am usually the one who coordinates birthday celebrations. Much to my surprise, when we came back from our lunch break, my staff had surprised me with gluten-free brownies and berries because they are my favorite! I felt so blessed and happy to be celebrating with them. The next morning, on my actually birthday, Ari and I got up and went to Necter for acai bowls. My. Current. Favorite. Thing. They are just so good! It was raining when we left school and the weather was kind of strange all day but it was great to spend the whole day with my best friend! After we had breakfast, she gave me a gift and it was new earrings (she knows how much I love to accessorize and "3-peat"!) and a new book from her mom. It is a book Ari got for Christmas and we had read a little bit together and I'm so thankful I have my own copy to read now and go through with her! When it had stopped raining, we went to the beach. I have always wanted to go to the beach for my birthday but with it being in January, that has never happened. So Ari and I went and sat on the beach for a few hours! While we were there, we read my new book, took pictures, listened to Taylor Swift, and our friend Elise met us there. Elise is such a gem! I adore her:) When Elise got there, we made guacamole, one of my favorite foods(yes ON the beach!). When Elise had to leave, and it got windy and cold, we went to the mall and went shopping. Ari is trying to expand my wardrobe from stripes and "teacher clothes" so she picked out lots of things for me to try on. We got a few tops and a dress! After that, we went to our favorite sushi place for dinner. Then we went to school to pick up friends and go to frozen yogurt at our favorite froyo place! Then, much to my surprise, we went back to my room, and my friends had decorated it for me and Lindsay got me the movie PITCH PERFECT!!!! Ahhhh I love that movie! So, naturally we went back to Ari and Tessa's apartment to watch it. Ari knows I love cinnamon rolls and Tessa loves to bake so they made homemade cinnamon rolls for us to eat! They were great! We ended the night with sparkling cider, laughter, and I was surrounded by so many amazing girls that God has brought into my life. I am so grateful to have gotten to spend part of my birthday with Elise, Bree, Lindsay, Tessa, Julia and ALL DAY with Ari:) I was so thankful for a day filled with all my favorite things and all my favorite people! We didn't do anything crazy, nothing over the top, just a day filled with simple joys and many, many blessings:)
So blessed by the people I love,