Read: Closer than Close

I recently finished Closer than Close: Awakening to the Freedom of Your Union with Christ by Dave Hickman and recommend it to anyone!

I’ve known Dave for more than 5 years through Charlotte/ONE and he is funny and real, so I was excited to hear about his new book. I started reading and laughed out loud at times, and felt challenged most of the time. He includes discussion questions, which you can obviously use as a discussion in small groups, or even just to think on for yourself. I find myself reading to find quotes that I love, I blame the Twitter/microwave mentality of today, but Hickman’s questions helped me keep focus on the bigger picture of each chapter.

Hickman shares how your presence in life, rather than your performance is pleasing to God. My favorite chapter was on spiritual disciplines. Hickman provides thoughts on doing nothing, praying simply, staying attentive and being led to abide in Christ. He says, “human logic says that you are loved because you are valuable…But God’s love is illogical…God’s love declares us valuable because we are loved.”

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Belong Tour

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Belong Tour, featuring Patsy Clairmont, Jen Hatmaker, Angela Davis, Sharon Irving, Shauna Niequist, and Nichole Nordeman.

Friday night started with a song medley and then each speaker shared some of her story. That night, I went home and felt content, but I read some comments on the event Facebook page and one person brought up some concerns about the conference and it made me realize how important the words you say, the expectations you set and the power of a positive mental attitude. The next day, I couldn’t brush off those concerns/negative thoughts of this other attendee, so I did not enjoy Saturday as much as I could have.

My takeaways:

  • light reveals truth, truth sets us free, so the longer we keep a secret in the dark, the more powerful a stronghold it is in our life, but Jesus sets us free.
  • We can give power to God or to struggle, but not both.
  • Do it afraid!
  • When God has called you – that doesn’t mean it will be easy, there are no guarantees. Say yes and move.

Finding My Passion

Now that I am in a job that I really enjoy for an organization that amazes me, I feel very content with where I am.  However, I met with a new friend yesterday for coffee and we discussed books we like, travels and just life. She asked me some great questions about what do I see myself doing in the future – what do I want do? Where did I want to travel to next?  I didn’t have a clear answer. Growing up I wanted to work for an international nonprofit doing communications work – bingo. I am. Now what? I have the job that I’ve always wanted and I can see myself staying with this company for many years to come, so what are my goals? My dreams? What is my passion?  I created this life bucket list in college and some things include seeing the rainforest, hiking a volcano, running a half marathon, riding a hot air balloon. I have already checked off the last two items. I have been blessed to travel extensively throughout Europe during my time at Elon – but the world is so big. There is still so much to see. I am constantly mesmerized about what I see on “Planet Earth” and just wonder – how can you see all this creation and not believe in the Creator?

So after my coffee date, I googled “how to find your passion.” 40,800,000 hits later and I still don’t have a precise answer yet, but I think I found some great questions to ask yourself.

What are you good at?
What excites you?
What do you read about?
What have you secretly dreamed about?
What are your goals?
If you could one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What do you love to do?

Questions I came up myself is:
What do I pin most on pinterest?
Who do I admire and why?

I love volunteering, writing, photography, reading, traveling. I love scrapbooking, listening to music, watching movies and working out. Ask any one of my friends, I am obsessed with elite gymnastics (aka Olympics!). I want to travel to South America and Asia, Australia and I have places I want to go in Europe.  I admire Mother Teresa, Leigh Ann Tuohy, Gabby Douglas, Michelle Obama…..I could keep going on for a while so I’ll stop.

Although I don’t have a specific answer of what I want to do, what my goals are, what I consider my “passion,” I know that God is working on my heart to reveal his purpose for me and I look forward to growing in His plan.