Sunday, September 9, 2012

Responsibility: hate it or love it

Responsibility - the older I get, the more I want to vomit when I hear that word. Mmm... maybe that was dramatic, but sometimes it can be a bit scary or overwhelming. Responsibilities are like wrinkles - the older you get, the more you have. And maybe they carry such a negative connotation because it was what you DIDN'T want from your parents growing up... they'd say, "Soon, you'll have more responsibilities to take care of." Like when did playing in the sandbox stop being plenty for me to manage?! I'd go back to those days fast, and not complain!

I'm being silly :) Truthfully, I may moan sometimes about my responsibilities, but I know that I'm better for having them, and I enjoy them, too. Right now, our freshmen (in the AUMC college ministry where I'm interning) are going thru an Andy Stanley study called Take Responsibility for your Life. It's pretty basic but also profound. One quote from tonight is this:

As long as I am comparing myself to others, I'll make excuses, but when I start comparing me to myself, THAT'S when I begin to make progress.

I think a lot of times, we get caught up in comparing. I know I do. They HAVE this and I don't. They DO this and I don't. I do this and THEY don't. This list goes on, my friend. But I have to take those thoughts and check them at the door. I'm not going to get anywhere when I'm thinking about everybody else's lives.

God has given me responsibilities in this life that I am to steward, and the only way I will be a good steward of those is if my gaze is due north, not east to west. You tracking? My sphere of influence is, to me, the things in my life that I am responsible for. First and foremost, I am responsible for my relationship with God... tending it, watering it, nurturing it. Same goes for the next things - my other relationships... family, friends, boyfriend. There's also my education, money, jobs. All of these things, I am responsible for. And it's easy to get overwhelmed when I'm looking around horizontally and not vertically, with my eyes fixed on Jesus. But - before there was sin in the world, God gave man responsibility. Read Genesis.

And so I know this to be true: I am happiest when I am responsible, and I feel better about myself when I am good at the things I'm responsible for, i.e. what I was designed for! Andy said last week, "You will never reach your God-given potential if you are living out irresponsibility." So these scary things expected of me might actually be God's way of refining me, using me for his glory, etc.

So... maybe it's not such a nausea-inducing concept after all. Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back in Action and Totally Thankful!

Well, it's been awhile since I've blogged. I feel like I don't really have much to blog about anyways. However, my boyfriend, Garrett, started a blog for his outfit in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M, so I figured I might as well resurrect the ole gal and have some more fun.

Today, I'm feeling super blessed. I have a mom who offers to go grocery shopping for me out of the blue - SUCH a blessing because we all know that college students (in my case, graduate students) don't have much of an income, so the extra help is always needed and heartily welcomed. I have roommates who listen and give Biblical advice at the breakfast table at 8:00 in the morning. I have a beautiful roof over my head and four walls around me. There are clothes in my closet, a car in my garage. I just said GARAGE - another blessing in itself. Garrett flew in from College Station to surprise me for the weekend... the list goes on!

Sometimes it's a lot easier for me to focus on what I DON'T have and cultivate an attitude of want or distrust in the Lord, when the simple discipline of saying thank you for what I do have has the power to change my entire perspective. Isn't that something?

What are you thankful for today?