Archive for Realizations

A Change in Identity

April 21st. This date has been engraved in my mind for the past few months. And for the last week, I no longer judged time by the current date, but by how many days rest between the present and the 21st. I had made a countdown on the chalkboard in the lab at the five day mark. It gave my two colleagues and I a sense of urgency, yet excitement at the same time.

I printed my thesis last night, and as I walked through the tunnels and hallways of my university, I realized that this was one of the last times that I would be walking the campus as a student. And as I walked, I realized that I will no longer be a CU student – my identity for the last four years. When people ask me what and where I study, I will no longer say CU majoring in Psychology. That is no longer who I am or what I do. It’s really odd to think. I have experienced and learned so much at that campus, that it is hard to leave.

As I walked, I reminisced the good ol’ days. As I passed each building I recalled certain memories – locations where I used to set up to do readings and study (which always varied from year to year as I discovered better, and sometimes hidden locations), booths and tables that I used to meet up with friends regularly to eat or “study”, areas on campus that I would go with friends to randomly talk to students about their beliefs, the classroom where I had my very first lecture in university, Cardiac Hill (the very steep walkway in the tunnels – essentially a hill beginning at the first floor of a building and taking you to the fourth), going on prayer walks with friends to pray for our campus, and countless others.

I think for me, university was not merely a place where I went to obtain a degree; a means to an end. It was a place of much personal growth. It was a place where I grew in my relationship with God. I became involved with a Christian group on campus where the students had a burden to share their faith with others. I met new people, made lasting friendships, and really adopted the burden that they had for the students on our campus. We invested so much time into loving on and praying for our campus that it became more than an institution.

Today marks the last day of my undergrad. I am finished. I handed my thesis to my supervisor this morning. I had imagined this day for months. I had imagined the excitement that I would feel and the relief that I would experience. But the feelings aren’t as intense as I had imagined. Perhaps it hasn’t quite hit me yet; it’s hard imagining that four years of schooling have come to a close. But maybe I’m also a little reluctant to say goodbye to CU and all of those experiences. Things will change, and I’m definitely ready for it and excited to transition into a graduate program at another university, but it will take some time. I’ll have to remind myself that I am no longer that undergraduate psych student anymore, but a Master of Arts student in Counselling and Spirituality. And that, I am excited for.

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Have I shared this with you yet?

What do you love? What are the things that you cannot silence yourself about? It seems that when we love something we want to tell others about it in hopes that they will come to feel the same way, loving it just as much as we do. Whether it be a TV show, a movie, a restaurant, an idea, vacation spot, we can go on talking for hours and are baffled when others don’t quite understand why we’re so passionate about it. I mean, some people wonder why I love cereal so much. Well, let me tell you! [kidding! that will be left for another post…if I ever get to talking about meaningless things]

When we love something we want to convince others to feel the same way so that they can get the same enjoyment out of it.

I’ve noticed that I’ve begun sharing my love for blogging with others. I’ve introduced the concept of blogging to numerous friends on the grounds of it being an excellent form of self-expression. I’ve also provided them with numerous tips that I have learned throughout my years as a blog stalker and my short time as a blogger in hopes to convince them to begin their own.

Works like a charm. So far, I have influenced at least 5 people to begin blogging and another one to return to blogging. And it doesn’t stop there. Those who I have converted to blogging have encouraged others to begin blogs as well. A blog beginning chain reaction is now starting. It’s blog multiplication. You’re welcome, WordPress.

Then I thought to myself: I love God. I love Him more than I like blogging. But when it comes to those who don’t know Him, I share about Him less than I talk about blogging to those who don’t blog. Something is wrong with this picture.

What if I were to talk to my friends about God in the same enthusiastic, free, and confident way that I speak to my friends about blogging? I am passionate about God and my faith in Christ affects every aspect of my life. Why wouldn’t I want to talk about that? Jesus has made such an impact on my life. He makes me feel so much better than blogging could ever. There are so many instances that I can share about how He has made my life more interesting and exciting. Why wouldn’t I want to share that so enthusiastically?

And if I shared about Him more, perhaps others would want to experience the same joy that I have found in Christ. And in turn there would be spiritual multiplication occurring as they share with others.

If I have yet to share about Jesus with you, I am sorry. But don’t let me get away with it. Ask me about how Jesus has changed my life. I’ll enthusiastically tell you. And I’ll also tell you how you should begin blogging too … although, Jesus is infinitely more exciting.

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Advent Conspiracy

I’ve viewed this video year after year, but I have to be honest, I never did much about it. This year I want that to be different.

Christmas is about Jesus, not about all of this hyped up materialism.

So what does this mean? Well, Christmas is celebrating Jesus, Jesus loves, and was born to later show the ultimate action of love. Therefore, to honour Him I want to focus much more on Him and on love this Christmas.

I want to give something that says “I really thought about you and love you“. And yeah, maybe surviving the crazy obstacle course of the local mall, risking becoming a victim of a massive stampede of miserable shoppers, and enduring the time-consuming checkout lines with customers who are ALWAYS right can also say “I invested much time and energy on this and practically almost died for you“.

I’m very much exaggerating; people don’t die from shopping… Usually. But I don’t want to be a part of that stressed-out and materialistic culture. It’s not the way that it was meant to be. What I’m saying is that I really want this Christmas to be meaningful. I want what I give and how I spend my time to truly reflect love. It’s not that I don’t think that something that I can buy has no meaning; but I want my gift to make a difference. Many gift giving seasons I fear that what I give will just be put to the wayside. Many times gifts are just given out of obligation and we become so stressed about it all. And there are so many things that we receive that are completely pointless. One example used countless times is that over-sized prickly sweater that your grandmother gives you without fail. Every year. Believe me, in my years of working in retail back in my high school days, I’ve seen tons of people buy these sweaters that will never be worn. Not even sure why we sold such hideous things! Maybe so that they can be pulled out for “Tacky Christmas Sweater Parties”?..

So here’s how I’m planning to make a difference this Christmas:

I’m going to tap into my creative side and hand-make personal gifts for my family and friends. I shall not mention what (presents must always be kept secret!), but I hope that it will show by my time and effort that I really care about them. AND, the money that I would have spent on gift giving, I will be selecting a resource from World Vision’s Christmas Catalogue that will help a family living in extreme poverty. Check out their website. You can buy anything from tasty fruit trees, school supplies, water purification items, multiplying rabbits, and plumping piglets.

Jesus was the ultimate gift of love. I want my gifts to reflect that love.

If you’re my friend or family member and are planning on purchasing something for me, I really don’t need anything. I would much rather you spend time with me, write to me, or something that demonstrates your love. And then possibly invest that money for someone who could benefit from it. I just feel like there are so many people out there that need much more than I do. And like Advent Conspiracy points out: 450 billion dollars spent on presents (in the States), and only 10 billion needed to solve the world’s clean water problem.

I’m not saying that gift giving is wrong; for many people it’s how they show their love. But for me this year, I don’t need anything and what I want as a gift is to help others in need.

Will you help me do this?

Worship fully.
Spend Less.
Give more.
Love ALL.

“God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift Christmas offers us, and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found at the mall. Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom. Time to write mom a letter. Time to take the kids sledding. Time to bake really good cookies and sing really bad Christmas carols. Time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right?”

adventconspiracy.org

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