Thursday, October 1, 2015

Learning Balance

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven." - Ecclesiastes 3:1


This last month has been one full of transition and of me trying to learn how to balance well in this new staff position. I love being on staff! But there is absolutely a learning curve and I'm right in the middle of that curve right now! 

How I feel about my schedule!
At the beginning of the month, I was floundering in too much time! Oh, the Horror of TOO MUCH TIME! I was getting all of my work done...but considering I didn't have intern classes that took up 24+ day light hours each week and wasn't having to plan a wedding, I had a ton more time this year than last! This led to me to start believing mental lies about my schedules: You're not working hard enough! You're not pulling your weight! DO MORE! 

Even though none of that was true, naturally, by the end of this month, I had swung to the opposite extreme and had filled every little hour of my week. Oh boy.  
I'm now learning how to balance my schedule in such a self-directed, fast-paced job. This isn't anything new, but I feel like it's more important to me now that this is what I know I'm going to be doing for the next three years of my life! It's no longer an option to just "sprint" through 10 month internships...I have to learn how to pace myself and come to a more sustainable lifestyle all round.
So if any of you "responsible, balanced grown-ups" have any good tips, please feel free to share those with me! Please pray for me as I work towards maintaining balance, practice saying "no," and use my time wisely.

Spending Time with People

Hanging out with a New Friend!
This really is my favorite part of getting to do campus ministry. This year, I have eleven girls I'm mentoring and they are awesome. We've spent a lot of this last month really getting to know each other and learning how to work together as a team for our shared purpose - reaching our campus for Jesus. 

Each pair (and one set of three) leads a small group Bible study throughout the week and this is where one-on-one Bible studies with their peers are generally started! This is going outstandingly well! Each of my girls is doing 2-3 studies with girls in their cores. So just with my peer team alone, that's 22-33 people who are studying the Bible in a one-on-one setting!

That's not even counting the five other peer teams, or the other students within the Cores that are studying the Bible with people. That's amazing to me! Please be praying with me that each of these studies results in true life change in our college students!

No Big Deal...

So this is my favorite story of all time. Definitely my favorite story of September! One Tuesday night, my neighbor, Jesus, texted me and Austin, asking if we would come to the courthouse with them on Thursday to be legally married, so they could start the adoption process with Arielle (who is Naidia's daughter from a previous relationship). Of course we wanted to be with them as they committed to this relationship for the long run! 

Thursday morning, Austin and I got ready, bought some flowers (shout-out to the awesome Kroger clerk who made sweet, individual bouquets), and arrived at the county courthouse before everyone else got there. The security guards were welcoming, but confused..."No one gets married here, usually! And you have to have an appointment! Do you have an appointment?" Well, Austin and I sure didn't...and neither did Jesus and Naidia! 

They were able pick up their marriage license, but then what were they going to do about getting married that day so that they could move forward with the adoption? Well, it just so happens that I am a legally ordained minister and could do it for them! I never would have thought that I would perform a marriage ceremony, but that is exactly what happened one Thursday in September, 2015. 

I called Brandon (my boss) to make sure that I really could perform the ceremony and that it would be perfectly legal for them to move forward. It was, so I started googling marriage scripts and we headed outside to "get them hitched!" It was a sweet, little ceremony. Naidia's grandparents and some other friends were able to make it! I loved getting to be part of their lives in this way. I'm excited to continue growing in friendship with them. Please continue to pray for them as they move forward in this adoption process and for their new marriage! 

Fantastic News

I wanted to thank each of you for your continued prayers for my fundraising efforts! God is incredibly gracious and provides wonderfully for His kids. I got news from my church home in Midland that they wanted to continue supporting me, and another family here in Denton joined my support team! I am now only 8% away from being 100% fully funded for this year! Praise God and thank you for your prayers in that! 
Another thing I want to thank you for is from last year...Do you remember the FOCUS140 initiative last year? We were able to raise $31,000 from that "First Annual Keep FOCUS Growing" campaign! This is a link so that you can see everything that the money went towards this year. 
I was really amazed and blessed by looking at what we were able to do because of everyone who was so generous! Thank you! 
We'll definitely be having a "Second Annual" this year, probably starting next month, so I'll keep you posted on that. Please start praying with me now for that initiative so that we can do even more on our campuses next year! 

As always, I am so thankful for each one of you, my dear supporters! Thank you for your prayers and for making the Kingdom a priority in your life in this way. Love you all!