31 Yrs and counting…

Time is a weird entity, isnt it? One day you’re a kid in school, trying to make it thru the day without having to use a disgusting bathroom, eat a crappy lunch, get yelled at for forgetting your HW, or be bullied by the stupid kid in your homeroom. Then, you’re in college where you’re starting to question everything you took for granted before – your culture, race, lifestyle, faith, and wardrobe (which has dwindled down to one pair of jeans you recycle each day and clean 2x month, and your PJs which you refuse to change out of for your 8am classes – mom would be so proud, :P).

Then, you’re ‘out in the big world, the real world.’ Working, in other words. Sure, you may have landed an internship here and there – maybe even overseas! Or you had a job or two at school working in the dining hall or library… *cough*like me *cough*. But now, no one’s gonna coddle you and say, “It’s ok. You can reduce your work hrs. Just get good grades and do well in school.” No, they’re gonna say, “What the hell are you doing working there with a college education??! o_O” Yup, those were the good old days.

Now, I’m standing here a decade after college graduation. I’m 31. I’ve been in the working world for 10 yrs. But, I’ve only been working full-time as a teacher for 6. (Where did those intermitten 4 yrs go, you ask? Well a yr of scrimping while waiting to leave for China. A yr in China (which counts as teaching), and then 3 yrs in full-time ministry.) And I’ve just started ‘working’ (serving) as English pastor at my church. Working/serving has the potential to consume my life and I usually let it have its way. In the last decade I’ve let work/ministry control me. Not proud of it. In fact, I learned a huge lesson as I was preparing to teach on Romans 8:4-6.

4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. 5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.

I learned that the things I follow will soon dominate me until I let them do whatever they want in my life. Do you see that progression? (I bolded the key words in the text above for easy scanning.) Very scary principle there. And yet so true for me. That’s why I believe God spoke to me last yr and declared 2008 my yr of Jubilee! 2008 ended up being a yr of

  • mourning over my dad’s death
  • transitioning out of using my tiny apt as a secondary youth ctr
  • entering a new relationship
    • which shifted almost immediately into discovering the joys of walking down the road towards marriage commitment
  • graduating grad school
  • and even learning how to teach better.

Lots of transition, actually. In all these things, I was learning to be hopeful, joyful, and more restful. And of course, the best part was connecting with my amazing husband-to-be, who has been a tremendous support to me. ^_^

This yr, 2009 and my 31st yr of birth, God has said will be my yr of MORE. More of the SPIRIT, more REST, more JOY @ work, more PEACE, and more HEALTHY choices. Good! I’m looking forward to it! 🙂 Gotta stay focused and disciplined, tho – which is always the hard part. Thank goodness I have an awesome husband-to-be and many crazy cool friends! 🙂

Let’s see how 2009 unfolds. It will be filled with

  • more transition
  • better teaching
  • a huge wedding (my own!)
  • an amazing Hillsong conference
  • exciting message series’ I’m teaching (or leading) on
    • “the Church God Blesses”
    • Money
    • Gender Justice
  • a mansion
  • URBANA ’09
  • and whatever else God has in store for me!

I’m looking forward to 2009.
31 will be fabulous! 😀

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