Defining Luxury

I am spoiled. It is that simple. I love my hot showers, I eat out at least 2 times a week, I typically have pretty new technology, I have a nice car, and a small shopping addiction. I am also a picky eater, even when I try something new I stay pretty safe and the most daring thing I have probably ever tried was scallops (and I did not like them). I like luxury and I like being comfortable, who doesn’t? I know I have been called to the missions field around  the world where these luxurious things are not always available to me.

Awesome! I want my definition of luxury to change. 

People always mention to me when I speak of being a missionary, or doing missions work, about how I will have to eat food I might not like. Or how I might not have access to AC/heaters, or that the showers might be cold. That my easy transportation methods now will not be at my immediate disposal. That my hands will be dirty, and my work will be intense. That I might be in a dangerous area not protected by the “freedom” that my country offers me.

That’s great. I want my definition of luxury to change.

Sometimes I pause and look at all of the things around me. My books that no longer fit on my bookshelf so I creatively reorganize them. My DVD’s that I must own at least 100 of. The video games and game systems I have that I maybe play once a month. Maybe. The ease of binge watching Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon prime because I have all 3. At the same time, sometimes when I pause and look at all of these things – the things that honestly consume a good amount of my time when I am home – I find nothing. They do not hold my faith, my hope, my value. They are just kind of there and there is nothing wrong with spending time to enjoy something luxurious.

But, I want my definition of luxury to change.

I have not spent much time, okay any time, outside of the United States. I have never been overseas and I have only been in a plane for one round trip. I get a lot of questions of, “How do you know you will like it if you have never done it.” Well… because I know God is calling me to do work overseas and anything my Heavenly Father calls me to do is going to be something amazing, of course I am going to love it. Besides, I have a fiery passion to go overseas. It is a terrifying want – I would by lying if I said that the thought of doing missions work and living overseas did not terrify me. But something that scares you is not always a bad thing.

I want my definition of luxury to change because,

I am tired of being comfortable.

I am tired of not being exposed to all the cultures, people, and languages that go from one end of the earth to the other.

I am tired of holding back.

I am tired of routine.

God did not call us to be comfortable. He called us to do some crazy things – like make disciples and love our enemies. He called us to heal people through him, he called us spread the Good News. The image of this does not look like binge watching the latest Netflix original.

And for some people the image of this does not look like going overseas and that is great for you! Some people are called to stay in their home country, some are called to stay in their small towns. That is great!

But some of us are called to do work overseas – in a new country, with a different set of customs. A country with a different view of luxury. And that is also great! I say go out and chase what God is calling you to do. Too many times have I ignored His plans for me because I was scared and/or uncomfortable. He has something amazing for you!

Resolutions Update #1

So at the beginning of the year I made a post (New Year, Old Year) about my goals and resolutions for the 2017 year and I just wanted to give a quick update on some of those.

  • Goal: Read the entire Bible this year.
  • Update: So far I have read almost everyday. I have read through Genesis, Job, and Matthew and I am currently reading through Exodus and Mark. I am about 3 days behind but I am persevering and not giving up!
  • Goal: Do things that scare me
  • Update: I got the summer job in Minnesota and it terrifies me to move away for 14 weeks, to a state I am unfamiliar with, and not knowing anybody. I actually bought my plane tickets this week so I am in this! I also plan on, when the weather clears up, to conquer my biggest fear: motorcycles. I know, I know, most people its spiders, or snakes, or death, but for me it is motorcycles.
  • Goal: Read more
  • Update: Okay this one is not going well. Besides reading my class books and the Bible I have started (but not finished) one book on my read list.
  • Goal: Blog More
  • Update: Well I am not doing the best at this but I am doing better at it. That counts right?
  • Goal: Be healthier
  • Update: I have been eating healthier. I have yet to workout… oops… but I have made some health changes. I am making sure to drink at least 8 cups of water a day, and instead of eating out for lunch constantly or buying frozen TV dinners, I have been making my lunches for the week on Sundays. So my eating habits are getting healthier now I just need to take the plunge to work out
  • Goal: Write more
  • Update: I have wrote nothing. Unless I count these blog posts, lab reports, and research essays.
  • Goal: Be a better listener, friend, and daugher
  • Update: Actually this is going decently. I am working on saying “Me, My, I” less and turning the conversation to focus on the other person. I am doing more for my mom, I am working on repairing my relationship with my step-dad. So this is actually going really good.
  • Goal: Learn to crochet
  • Update: I have not touched any of my crochet stuff. I used my yarn for a different project though so at least it is still being put to use.
  • Goal: Finish unfinished projects
  • Update: I really need to set up my senior year photo album.. which I should have done 3 years ago. I just need to go through thousands of pictures and get some printed. I also have a lot of EMPTY picture frames I need to put photos in. Maybe I will do that during spring break.
  • Goal: Start learning another language
  • Update: I have made no progress here. What’s the best way to learn a language?
  • Goal: Join a discipleship group or Bible Study
  • Update: I have gone to a Bible Study this year. I went once last week and was not able to make it this week. But I am actively working to surround myself with people that share the same values and beliefs with me.

So overall, I feel like I am doing pretty good. Consider I work 40-45 hours a week, and I go to classes 3 out of 7 days a week, along with my online classes, I am making some good progress. It is only February so I am pretty happy with where I am at on my goals.  I am only home Wednesday Nights, some Saturdays, and Sunday afternoons. So not too shabby!

But I do plan on keeping yall updated, and it helps me stay accountable and keep track with my progress! Don’t give up on your goals!

 

How Valentines Day Humbled Me

First and foremost I am happy to announce I have internet again after a month(ish) without. So a big yay for that and a big yay for college campuses and Starbucks, I appreciate the use of your wifi. Since then I have been jotting down notes in my phone on blog posts to make so I hope that I can get all of those posted over the next week or two.

Anyways, back to my post for today.

So it has been a few days since Valentines day. I hate valentines day, it has never been a celebration worthy holiday for me. Even when I have been in relationships I did not celebrate Valentines. Just not my thing.

My mom told me the Friday before that she was going to bake brownies for her team she sees on Tuesdays. I gave her a hard time because the only reason she was doing this for them was because of some holiday. I am not all for the “I am buying you something because that is what we do this holiday” and yes, I do complain about the gift giving at Christmas time as well it should not be so commercialized but that is a different post for a different time. I am all for showing love and doing small acts of kindness for others, but it should be done throughout the whole year and not just on holidays.

I have a tendency to be stubborn though. I will NEVER buy people something because of Valentines day. That is what I always thought and always argued for.

Then Valentines day comes along.

All morning I had an urge to treat my mom and step-dad to lunch. After wrestling with it, I finally gave in and took them to their place of choice for lunch. “Happy Valentines day,” I said with slight sarcasm in my voice (okay, maybe a lot of sarcasm).

That is it, I have done my good deed for today.  I ‘celebrated’ and now I am done.

Then the afternoon of Valentines day comes along.

I spent all afternoon with the thought in my head to buy two of my classmates, a friend, and my brother some candy. NO! I did not want to do that, I was tired of it being Valentines day. I was wrong again. The urge would not be shaken off and forgotten. So I leave work early, stop by the store (which I despised), and picked up some bags of candy to give to 4 people. That number quickly went from 1 to 4. I go home, pack up my stuff for class, along with the candy and head off to class. I pass out the candy and a friend I gave some to said that it, “made her day.” That was a nice thing to hear and apparently I got her her favorite candy.

So… I say this to remind people how important it is to do little things for people. I might have just bought lunch, or candy, because it was a holiday, but I also bought it because God kept telling me to just let go and do it. It did not matter that it was February 14th, it mattered that I thought about those people and did something to brighten their days.

I find it easy to get caught up in my stubborn ways. To decide I will do things my way and stick with that. But, I also was reminded that my way needs to be changed to God’s way, to the way that is about love and compassion for others. I have spent every Valentines day concerned with MY defiance against the holiday instead of thinking about how my small act of kindness could brighten the day for SOMEONE else.

So though I spend the day begrudgingly doing these things, the next day I realized just how humbling it was. I realized how everyday, including the holidays, is a day to take advantage of doing something for someone else.

So to all of you, especially to those Valentine day haters out there, whatever reason you have not to do something for someone else, set your pride, stubborness, or anything else to the side and just go out and make a difference for someone else. It does not matter how small or big what you do is.