Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Laughter and Introspection

             February has been a month full of lots of different weather. It started with snow still covering the ground, but recently we’ve been experiencing some beautiful spring-like temperatures. In an area which is covered in clouds and fog much of the time, I am loving the blue skies and sunshine. We’ve had a lot of special events happening here lately. Last weekend we had home basketball games and the week before that we had our first home wrestling tournament. Three guys from our dorm are on the wrestling team, and they made us so proud! It’s exciting to watch them learn to compete well, as well as learning to be teachable. Home sporting events are really unique. In high school, I enjoyed attending soccer and basketball games, but they weren’t a priority, because I lived with my family so naturally I followed their schedule. Here however, since so many of the students live in the dorms, the community is very closely knit. One of the most exciting things for me at these events is to listen to the students and faculty cheer for the team. Even if the team playing in the previous game lost, the enthusiasm is just as strong for the next game, and you can hear it in the cheering.  

As you read about these students who have become so dear to my heart, please pray with me for them. This is a critical time for many seniors. They are confirming college and future decisions, and seeking exactly what they should do after graduation. Pray that God will prepare them for life after graduation in ways they are not even aware of. Closeness to Him is paramount. Also, please pray for health and safety for our students. We’ve had a cold and flu virus sweep the dorm, among other things, and the fatigue of a busy semester doesn’t help things. Pray for physical and spiritual protection.

Recently I was in a conversation where the topic concerned lessons learned since being at BFA. One of the many things that come to mind is how I’m learning to take joy in the little things. I love to laugh. Plain and simple. Here in the dorm, I feel like it happens a lot. The guys (students and staff) are always doing things that make me smile, giggle, and laugh almost to the point of tears sometimes. Random happy dances during chores after dinner, birthdays celebrations, stories of everyday life with fellow students, and the simple joys of interacting person to person. I am reminded of Psalm 16: 11, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” The joy that can flood our lives when walking with Christ is incredible, and yet there are so many people who do not experience this on a daily basis. I am so blessed! You may be thinking, “what a superficial girl,” but remember that we are commanded (not just suggested) to rejoice always! (I Thessalonians 5:16). I thank God for the joy that He brings to our lives, and the ensuing laughter.

Another thing that God has been teaching me concerns my attitude in coming to Him. Is it on my terms or His? My time with Him tends to get pushed back in the name of relaxing and recharging. Sometimes I think, I can just do it later, or if I rest now, surely I’ll be more awake later. Other times, different tasks seem more pressing and urgent. Sound familiar? I hope I’m not alone. It’s taken me a while to realize, but after coming away so refreshed from times in the Word, He has shown me my need for Him. I found myself asking God to make me desperate for Him. And guess what? He answers prayer. He has brought deep conviction when I miss my time with Him, especially when I don’t sacrifice and put Him ahead of everything else. It comes down to this: If I am not putting Him first, what kind of example am I living before the students in my care?
Please forgive this introspective post. I hope it makes sense. I am finding that in the midst of a ministry where I am being poured out, God is also pouring into me richly, and the lessons are many.  What an honor to walk with the Lover of our souls.

Always, Lauren