Sunday, November 14, 2010

A weekend on God's time

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Kairos retreat with University Ministry. I was completely unaware of what Kairos was all about and even more confused of the schedule and what my role would be. I soon learned that this would be the feeling that I held throughout the retreat. Kairos is a retreat on God's time. No cell phones. No watches. No alarm clocks. This was so foreign to me since my Iphone is practically attached to my hand these days. This was the most liberating feeling to not have my cell phone for 2 days. No Facebook. No email alerts. No alarm clock for me to snooze a million times.

I was so happy to be up in the mountains. There wasn't a lot of snow but more than I am used to. The camp that we were at was absolutely beautiful. There was stream that ran through the camp that was so relaxing to just stand next to and listen to the running water as I centered myself to hear God's voice and direction.

I had so many great opportunities to connect with many students that I had yet to encounter on campus as well as create deeper connections with those students that I previously had known. The leaders that were chosen to lead the retreat each gave their "talk". These talks were their stories. Their stories of their journeys in life and their relationship with God. I am still in awe of the love, openness, and strength that the students displayed this weekend.

I was moved in so many ways this weekend and had the much needed time to reflect on my life and really listen to God. I am so comforted this evening by the grace of God. God spoke to me in many ways this weekend that I hope to share in the next few posts.

The last talk today was about the 4th day. In our case the 4th day is tomorrow. The day after the retreat is over. The day we are all back in the "real world" without guided prayer and reflection. Where we will be back in our daily mundane routines in life. Cell phones attached back to our bodies, alarm clocks set, and distractions everywhere that pull us away from God. We will again be on "Our time."

As I think about my 4th day. I start to think about the things in my life that distract me from my relationship with God. I think about all of the wonderful feelings that I felt this weekend. The closeness I felt to God and nature. I hope to work to create a life that is truly on God's time in my daily life.

So my 4th day begins. Wonder what it will be like? Have I changed at all? Will this yearning for God in my life out weigh all of the distractions that I will face this week?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Orientation & First Week at Regis

So life here in Denver has been non-stop! We just finished 4 days of Orientation which means I was pretty much here from 8am-10pm (or later) every night. It was such a blast though! I loved meeting all of the freshman and their families. I was exhausted and actually went to bed at 9:00pm on Monday night. Wow, that makes me feel old! It wasn't all bad...when I say that I worked...I mean I got to go to INVESCO field and chaperoned a Rockies game and enjoyed tons of free food (including the biggest Red Bull I have ever seen!) My boss can't believe I drank all of it!

Monday was the first day of classes here at Regis. The leadership class that I am teaching is Monday evening so most of my day was spent preparing. It went really well and I am really excited about the semester. I think we have about 35 students! I was given Tuesday off which was great! I slept in, cleaned my apartment and finally unpacked most of the boxes and decorated some of the walls. It looks so much better. It was great to be able to slow down and have a little me time, but I was excited to come back to work today!

Funny thing. So every college campus has parking issues. Of course Regis is no different. There are not that many parking lots and unless you get here before 8am (which is unlikely for me) you will be out of luck trying to find a spot. So there is Lot 6. This is the overflow lot. I mean it is huge but it is also pretty far away. Everyone hates having to park in Lot 6. I have had to park there both days and they offer a shuttle but I never take it because I absolutely love the beauty of the campus and the small view of the mountains as I walk to my office. It is also about the only exercise I have been getting lately. So I am not complaining about Lot 6. This of course will be a different story when this Texas girl has to experience Winter here in Denver. This is where the Park n Ride near my apartment will come in handy (and the walk there that includes a Starbucks!).

So things are great here. Still trying to get settled and start meeting people. I need to find some groups to join and a church home but all of these will come in time. I love my job and the people I work with so I am truly blessed. It has almost been 2 months since I moved here. It seems so much longer than that! I am getting a little homesick and can not wait until Thanksgiving to go home and see all of my family and friends, but until then I will continue to create my life here in the Mile High City! Off to Lot 6 to head home!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Update from the Mile High City

Well tonight is the night before it gets really crazy at work. This week students start moving in and attend orientation (which by the way is sponsored by our office). Things have been great here, especially the weather, which I hear is not the case back home in Texas! I had my first visitor this week. My dad drove out here with all of my stuff. It was so nice to finally have furniture and a real bed (don't get me wrong, air mattresses are great, but only for so long!). Dad helped me get some things set up and we spent the day on Tuesday exploring! I finally got to drive up into the mountains! It was breathtaking! I was so giddy! I can not wait to go hiking. I was sad for my dad to leave, but so happy that he came out to see me. 

I finally got my apartment feeling somewhat like a home. There are still a few decorating projects but for the most part I am really happy with everything.  I absolutely love my balcony (I am actually sitting on the balcony as I type this!). I will post pics soon of my apartment!

I have some fun events coming up that I am very excited about! I bought tickets to see Lady Antebellum here on Nov. 3rd. A friend from work and I are going to go. I am really excited and can't wait for my first concert in Denver. There is a small playhouse in walking distance of my apartment and there is a play there next month that looks really funny so I am hoping to invite some girls from work for a girls night in Olde Town Arvada.

I have so much free time now that I am finished with school so I am looking for some new hobbies as well as picking up some of my old hobbies like photography, running, and crafts!

Well that is a good enough update for now! More to come soon (especially pictures)!

Friday, August 6, 2010

God's Love

Well it has been almost a month since I moved to Denver. I am finally somewhat settled into my apartment and am finally getting into the swing of things at work. Denver is a beautiful place with so many great people. I look back on this past month and think how proud I am of myself for following the path that God laid for me. Tonight has been a very emotional night. I watched the movie To Save A Life. I recommend it! I am just amazed at God's love for each and every one of us, no matter our size, our skin color, our beliefs, or the way we dress. I feel like we forget that sometimes. God loves us for exactly who we are, not who society wants us to be or tells us who we have to be included. I truly believe that even the smallest thing like a smile, or a hello, or any acknowledgment can truly save someones life. My hope is that God works through me to show those who do not feel loved, God's love. Each and every one of us have chance to reach out to someone and show them God's love. But do we? Sometimes I feel so wrapped up in my own world and my own "problems' that I don't see what is right in front of me. We go through life watching reality tv shows or talking about the latest celebrity gossip, but is that really important in the grand scheme of things? I don't think I have to answer that question.

Life is too short to waste on things that do not matter. Each and every one of us have a purpose in life, a passion that sets us on fire. It is not fair to any of us to never find out what that is. I hope that we all take the chance to stop and answer the question, "What am I passionate about?" Is it helping others, being a friend, art, teaching? Whatever it is, God has given you an innate talent that we should share with the world.

It has been hard moving to a place where I do not know anyone, but I could do it because I knew God was with me and prepared this place before I got here. I desperately want to grow closer to God. I am going to visit a church on Sunday. I hope to find a church home soon and become more involved. I know I have so many things to learn and areas to grow and I am willing to do it.

I miss my family and all of my friends. It is so hard to be away from all of them but I know that this is the best thing for me right now. I need to work on myself and push myself to become a better me. I want to grow with God and I know He has great things in store for me here in Denver. I trust in Him that He will help me through the lonely times and the good times as well as the next step in my life.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Colorado Bound

It is officially official! I am moving to Colorado!

These past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions. I am so excited about where God is leading me and what He has in store for this new adventure, but it has all started to set in that I am moving away from the place that I grew up, where I found myself and God, and family and friends that mean more to me than anything in this world. This by far is going to be the hardest and most challenging thing that I have ever done, but at the same time so rewarding!

To help in this transition I have been reading a book called After the Boxes are Unpacked: Moving on after moving in, by Susan Miller. This book has been so helpful in my preparation for moving. As I mentioned earlier, the hardest part of this move is being so far away from the people that mean so much to me but this book put it all in perspective for me when it stated that "you may feel cut off from your family and your friends but you are not cut off from God. He didn't bring you here to abandon you." My response to this was, WOW! I truly believe that God has led me to work at Regis University and that this is the place where He needs me to be. I guess once it was official I forgot that God is already there preparing this place for me and that He will be there with me to continue to show me why He led me there. The book states to not "dwell in the past. God will do something new here and eventually it will be obvious to you. He will make a way for you in this unknown place and bring the cool refreshing waters of a new life to barren your heart."

"God is the One who clasps your hand as you move from one place to another.
He is the One who has gone ahead of you, prepared a place for you, and will hold out His hand for you to cling to.
He was with you when you started, and will be with you when you finish.
If you should fall along the way, He will be there to protect and guide you, and make sure you keep going!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chicago...the beginning of a new chapter.

I recently was blessed with the opportunity to visit Chicago (a.k.a. The Windy City). Here are a couple of pics from the bean in Millennium Park.This trip was a blessing in many ways. 1) A week "vacation" 2) Start of my job search process 3) I was able to reconnect with my good friend Amber.

The main reason for going to Chicago was to attend the annual NASPA conference and Placement Exchange. The first part of the trip was not all fun and games for me due to the fact that I was interviewing for jobs. Over the 4 days of interviewing I had 9 interviews (talk about exhausting, physically and mentally). I left the Placement Exchange with a lot of positive feedback and a greater sense of direction for my future. After the interviewing it was a great time exploring the sites of Chicago, catching up with friends and networking, and of course eating some great food!
After returning from Chicago, the job search process has been in full force. It seems to consume my time and life. It is all so exciting and stressful at the same time. I had a phone interview this week with one of my top choices from the conference. I was really excited and had done so much research on the area and living conditions, etc., etc. It turns out that I did not make it to their final interview. Bummer. I was pretty sad when I found out but I knew that I could do nothing but learn from this situation.

What I have learned most is that I was trying to control my future and it was what I thought I wanted. But God is in control and I should have trusted in Him more. A wise friend informed me that God already knows where I will be next year...all of the pieces just have to fall into place. And I just have to trust that. Obviously that was not where God wanted me, even if it seemed really cool. I have also learned that I can not let this process consume my life and deter me from enjoying my last couple of months here in Commerce. So much can happen in a couple of months and if all I do is worry about where I will be in 3 months..I might miss something. I have decided to trust in God on this one. I want Him to lead me to the school and town that He needs me to be there and that will guide me in my own spiritual journey. I also am going to continue to live here in Commerce and enjoy my time here and the impact that I can have and the growth that I can still go through. I am excited to learn more about moving and the biblical references pertaining to moving so I am reading "After the Boxes are Unpacked: Moving on after Moving in" by Susan Miller. I am have only read the first couple of chapters but I can already tell that this is exactly what I need to be doing right now...preparing myself for what God has already planned out for me. I can't wait to find out what it is!

Recent Pics

Monday, February 1, 2010

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure

If there was an award for mastering the are of being humble, I have realized that I am the most deserving of the award. Through reflection and conversations with friends and mentors, I have realized I have been living a life that takes humbleness to the extreme. Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe in being humble. But if one take humbleness to the extreme, it can actually be one's greatest enemy. So what I am saying is....sometimes we are our greatest enemy. My good friend Leslea's favorite quote by Nelson Mandela hung on her wall throughout the time we lived together and I always read it, but I didn't connect with it until recently.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

This quote touches my heart so deeply because it gives me the power to say....Yes...I am brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous. Over the past couple years of my life, I have played small and like the quote says, doing that does not serve the world. I have strenuously been working on this part of myself...struggling of how to change. How do I become less humble and believe in myself, my talents, and my achievements?

Everything changed about a week ago. I kept trying to change but I knew I needed an "AHA" moment, and it came in the form of a Runner's World magazine (weird, I know). I had heard of Kara Goucher, an elite American distance runner, who happened to be on the cover of the Runner's World magazine that I recently purchased. I didn't know her story though. I read her story. Most people were probably intrigued with her success and failures, her marriage to Adam Goucher (also an elite American distance runner), or they were mesmerized by her beauty and athleticism. What struck me the most though was how her challenges were so similar to mine. Growing up as a runner she psyched herself out. She mentally lost races before she even started them. I too had this horrible problem during my running career in college, but that is not the area of my life that it hit home to. I do this in every area of my life. I psych myself out. I make myself believe that I am not good enough. I have come to find out that I am not taking pride or ownership in the abilities that God has given me. I have to believe in myself, because sometimes, no one else will. I have to have confidence in who I am and the abilities that God has given me (and we all should). This is not boasting or having a big ego. It means to believe fully in who you are and the gifts and talents that He has bestowed upon you. I have to be my biggest cheerleader!

There can be no time greater to learn this lesson in life than now. I am about to start interviewing....and who wants to hire someone who doesn't believe in their accomplishments. I challenge everyone to believe in who they are and what they are good at. We are all good at things that others aren't and it is our job to use those talents to serve a greater purpose.