This summer has been very busy for me, I was in a wedding in July and I am in another one in September. It has been so much fun to shower my friends with love and to celebrate marriage. Although I am still living the single life, the wedding and bridal showers have allowed me to be thankful for the friendships I have and to remember the love that Christ has for us, His bride.
A friend and I were talking about the things we are involved with outside of work and she asked me, “how do you find the time to volunteer?” and “Why do you make time for all those things?”
I answered her sharing about my love for people and sharing Jesus, but it definitely got me thinking about why I do love serving others and being involved in several ministries in town. I found this letter I wrote 2 years ago:
Even as far back as sixth grade, I have always been into service. From Girl Scouts to church youth group, I volunteered constantly. When I eventually started college at Elon University, I automatically joined the Service Learning Community, doing projects several times a month. I also joined the service team of my Intervarsity Christian Fellowship chapter mainly because I felt qualified. As a sophomore I lead the Service Learning Community for the new freshmen, but I was not actually enjoying the service aspect.
Volunteering had always been something I’d done, so I figured it was something I should continue in college. But in continuing service almost as a default activity, I had grown bored. I realized I was missing the point of volunteering.
Thinking back to why I had originally started volunteering, all those years ago, I was able to reduce it back to its simplicity: it was out of love that I wanted to serve. It was because I could show the love of Jesus to people that did not know Him. As Mother Teresa once said, “Love cannot remain by itself—it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.”
Once I had my head and heart back in focus on outreach, I began to love what I was doing again. I finally realized how my passions and my major could be used for the love of God. As a communications major, I loved to write, read and share about social issues that I’m passionate about so that others can make an impact.
This past month has been very busy – but what’s new? Life is constantly happening, bringing with it new challenges and victories.
After experiencing the simplicity of life in Rwanda of worshiping God and then loving others as Christ loves us, I came back to my busy life in the Queen City with a sense that I need to slow down. I have always been the person who is over-committed with a jam packed schedule, but that is where I thrive. I know how to manage my time when I have very little free time…it’s when I have lots of free time that I start to become a sloth.
Anyway, living intentionally has come up several times. I am trying to live with a purpose and make each interaction I have with people be a way that I can show Christ’s love to them. It is a hard thing to do, and I have been convicted of times that I have failed, but I like being reminded each day that I have a purpose and everything that happens, happens for a reason.
A couple changes I have made in my schedule to help me stay focused on my goals and living intentionally:
Quiet times in the morning. Spending more time journaling, praying and reading Scripture.
Working out in the morning. That way I have more flexibility and time in the evenings. This means though, that I am trying to get to bed earlier.
Packing my lunch the night before. This gives me a few extra minutes for my quiet time.
Listening to an audio daily. Stories of overcoming struggles and leadership principles (esp. Terri Savelle Foy, John Maxwell, etc) helps to keep you inspired and focused.
On Friday I had the opportunity to take a digital photography class at Queen’s University with Nanine Hartzenbusch and I really enjoyed it. The class was a great refresher for me about compositional creativity, ideas on lighting, editing, and archiving your work. After the lecture, we walked around and photographed the campus. Here are some of my favorite shots:
At Charlotte/ONE this week author Allison Vesterfelt came to speak on dreaming. It was a powerful message that challenged and encouraged me so I wanted to share my notes from her talk.
If you could do whatever you wanted – what would you do?
First of all, you have permission to dream and you have permission to want something. Let that question and thought sink in and allow your dreams to come alive within you.
Five things that keep us from asking the question “if you could do whatever you wanted – what would you do”
- We pay attention to everyone else
- We think wanting is selfish
- We follow success, fame and money rather than listening to Jesus
- We are waiting on God to tell us what we should want
- We are terrified we won’t get it
The last two are the ones that gave me a gut check. I am 100% guilty of asking God to show me what I should want/pursue, but not being able to listen to know when God is answering me. I also haven’t allowed myself time to think, reflect and truly answer the question. I can give some ideas like traveling the world, dancing, photography and eating chocolate….but don’t know if those are true passions or just things I would like to do.
The last point Allison made that struck a chord with me, is that our idea of submitting to God is asking Him questions like “what should I do,” when instead we should put forth our best efforts, try our best, dig deep, research and provide God with our best and then submit it to Him to ask Him to help us to reach our desire.
Don’t think that once you start to pursue your dream that it will be easy. You will still stumble and make mistakes, but you will have a more fulfilled life!
One week ago I was getting on a plane with one of my best friends to go to Orlando for the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon. This race was my 2nd Disney Princess half and my 3rd half marathon. To say it was a fairy-tale or magical, would not be an exaggeration. Disney knows how to put on a great event and here are some take-aways from a communicator’s perspective:
- Event-planning skills and attention to detail is vital. Should be self-explanatory.
- Have enough staff/volunteers so they can easily help guests with simple questions or even to take a photo for guests. Throughout the race course and expo, there were characters that had at least 2 staff members with them — 1 professional photographer and one staff member there to take a photo with your camera/phone.
- Establish a #hashtag before the event and use it to field questions and allow guests to know some faces that will also be in attendance. #princesshalf was used and was a great resource to field questions as far as timing, what to pack, other tips and to learn who else would be making the trip to the race.
A couple things I would have liked to see from Disney:
- A thank you/recap email — I got one from my Disney Hotel, but not one from runDisney or about the race
- Survey or opportunity to provide feedback about the race and expo –> I wish there were more princesses on the course of the race!
*Updated 3/4/2014 runDisney did send me a thank you/recap email