|Texas Bluebonnet selfie - Spring break trip to Waco / Silos / Magnolia|
Life has been so good lately. Between my job, school, family activities, and college group / church events, I have never been so busy, or blessed. Those rare moments when I have down time, I sit, pondering how much my life has changed in just a year. And I am thankful. For the college group and the community I am now a part of, which helps me stay encouraged and focused on God. Something I've never really had before. Not like this anyway. I am excited to be surrounded by a group of energetic and passionate young people who really like being together, and want to grow in their walk with Jesus. And I can't say enough about how much being at the Beech has helped me.
My family continues to be a source of joy in my life. And even though I don't get to spend as much time with them as before, I am still so thankful for all of their love and support, and especially glad for those times we are all together. The last time I saw my niece, she was so full of childlike curiosity as I played with her in her playhouse, with her various toys, and sat watching her interact with Jaden. Of course, she is such a delight, but so are the rest of my family members, and I have been trying to spend more time interacting with them via email, text, letters, and phone visits, since some of them live a great distance from me. Family is forever, and I want to build strong relationships that will last a life time.
Work - something I have really begun to enjoy. Really, it is a dream job for me, and less of a drag. I get to be "mom" 50 or so hours a week to two brilliant, strapping little men, who love me with abandon. Watching them grow and change and develop each day, is just amazing and something I have dreamed about getting to do all my life. Even though I don't have kids of my own (yet), these two have become so dear and precious to my heart, and I love them like they are my own. They follow me around, and like to help in small ways which is a delight. I think the best part of my job is getting to spend so much time outside with them, exploring God's marvelous creation, looking at ant piles, picking flowers, running, laughing, gardening, playing. I have always LOVED being outside, and thankfully both boys could live outside if they had their way, so it makes for a wonderful relationship.
College group is something new and exciting in my life. Since joining last fall semester, I have gotten to experience a lot of new and fun things, as well as grow in my walk with Jesus, meet new people, form new friendships, study God's Word (a lot!), take in some uplifting retreats, conferences, and bible studies and just expand my horizon as a person. Monday night devos are still my favorite, because of the fellowship and singing, and of course the devotional time as well. There's just something so encouraging about meeting together at the start of a new week, to eat, talk, sing and hear an encouraging thought from Scripture. It really helps me set the tone of the next 5 days. Some of my closest friends have been made through this group. It's hard to believe we've only known each other 8 months, because we have already experienced and shared so much together. As I look ahead to this summer, I am a little sad because we won't have as many things going on, and some folks are going home for the break, but I know that there will still be friends to hang with, and fun things to do. Bible camp is one of them, and I am going this year as a counselor - my 4th time to be a counselor, but my first time to go with this congregation. I am REALLY excited, not only to get to go with my church family, but even more for the content of what we will be learning that week. It is going to be powerful, life equipping and challenging and I can hardly wait for July to get here!
My counseling classes are coming along nicely. Right now I am finishing a class on marriage and family counseling, which has been really good. I have learned a lot, and been challenged and encouraged by each lecture and assignment. I have also enrolled in a 3 hour class (10 weeks in duration) which begins the end of this month, and continues through the summer. This will be in addition to my other classes, so I am going to have a busy summer of learning. God has used these classes to transform my heart, as much as to get me ready to help others. The awesome thing? He has already let me use the knowledge I have gained in the last 18 months or so of study, to help others in need and it has been humbling and exhilarating all at once. I am truly excited to see how this journey ends. I already have two ministries interested in using my counseling services once I am done with school, which serves as motivation and encouragement to stay faithful til then end.
Besides all of the above, I am also maintaining a summer garden, which is a source of joy and hard work in my life. I LOVE plants, and so a garden is such a delight to me. One day I hope to have a huge garden, and use it in my counseling ministry. Lots of hopes and dreams, and plans for the future... if the Lord wills. Right now the few beds I do have will keep me on my toes until fall. I also decided to plant flowers, because a garden shouldn't just be for food, but also for beauty. The sunflowers are already blooming, and getting taller each day, and the Zinnias I planted from seed are coming up as well, so are the morning glories. The yard has never looked better, and I feel such pleasure spending time enjoying the beauty all around as I walk with the boys or sit on the patio. Truly, God has given us such a gift in His creation!