the smell of coffee and some thoughts.
here’s to sitting in starbucks and being done with all your homework…
- i wish i could buy a peppermint mocha every other day during the fall/winter months.
- i’m an introverted, sensing, feeling, judging individual. thanks Myers-Briggs. thanks.
- is there such a thing as being too in love with someone?
- i facetimed my fam today. i miss them. way too much. 14 more days. i got this.
- i’m itching to find a dress for Fall Social ‘13.
- today, i ran into Reggie C. from back home. i missed that guy.
- starbucks has all things Christmas displayed. uh. hashtag respectdaturkey.
- i haven’t spent time with Jesus in a long time. that needs to change.
- Lucy Rose is the music for my soul lately.
- i’m addicted to Candy Crush. no shame.
- going to a bookstore all by myself sounds grand. i should do that soon.
- thankful for friendships.
- honesty is the best policy, but sometimes it is hard.
- i work tonight from 9:30-12. eh. not really feeling it.
well. here’s to writing nothing very profound but you all get a small glimpse of my mind filled with too many thoughts.
❝ You are continuing to become who God is calling you to be. Not because you need to be someone different, but because He sees the best in you that you may have yet to discover in yourself.
— JJ Peterson
i love Jesus for loving me. especially in the times where i can’t even love myself.
real & honest.
i’m currently experiencing one of the hardest seasons of my life. God is taking me out of all i know to be comfortable and safe. we live in a world with constant change, and i’m not a huge fan. i’ve never been a huge fan.
the Lord is doing this new thing where He’s changing who I am, who I’ve been. and in the midst of that change i began to not like myself very much. i am insecure. i am not living up to my own expectations of myself. i am broken. i am frustrated with the fact that i don’t know who i’m becoming. i’ve been so used to my old self. my old ways of doing relationships. my old ways of worshipping. my old ways of being joyful. my old ways of just being. but God said to me, “Christina, it’s time to mature. to grow. to leave those old ways behind and become someone who does all those things, but just different than how you used to.” so i’m in the midst of a lot of transition both around me and inside of me. it has been so hard. so hard. i hate it. i love it. i’m tired. but God has been so faithful to me.
a good friend told me the best thing i have to offer this world is me. who i am in a real, honest, true form. so here it is. i am human. a human who God adores and loves and wants to instill His heart inside of.
this is my real & honest life. it’s the best i have to offer. in order for others to know that what is real and honest is exactly who God wants us to be.
my thoughts today.
- the autumn days will finally begin here in Southern California.
- my life is crazy. good. wonderful. hard.
- the weather forecast tells me rain is coming tomorrow.
- i need rest.
- i want to stop being so hard on myself.
- i dream of the day my best friend and i co-write a book.
- i love everything i’m learning here at school.
- i miss home so much it hurts my heart sometimes.
- 73 days till Christmas.
- Sleeping At Last makes my heart happy.
- Spectacular Now is a fantastic movie. go watch it.
- having Megan Forbes on campus has already made me a better person.
- i haven’t felt like myself lately and that is hard for me to recognize.
- Jesus loves me. and i really love Him.
- Donavan is the best thing in my life right now.
- Tori is family. my girl. my go-to. my best friend forever.
- i need to pray more.
- my expectations for myself are too high, lower them Chris. lower them.
- love is worth it. it will always be worth it.
- worship is changing for me. or better yet, worship is changing me.
- the future scares me.
- i need to fight for The Fam. they are my people.
in the midst of a really hard season, i’m on this journey of finding joy again. hope again. love again.
it’s been a while… since i’ve had peace, joy, a desire to write again, happy, content about being at Life Pacific College.
it’s been a while, since i’ve been me.
after much time, many tears, and constant prayer i can finally say i’m feeling peace again. i’m feeling like me again. God has brought me a long way and i still have a long way to go, but i’m thankful. i’m thankful that the God of the heavens continues to refine my being. even in the moments where i feel angry and frustrated with the Lord and the things He is doing in me, the process will always be worth it.
i’m here. i’m trying. i’m growing. and it is all very much difficult,
i’m at peace.
i am currently back at Life Pacific College. i am currently a resident assistant. i am currently living at what is known as my “home away from home”. but i’m going to be honest… i haven’t really felt at home here. i’ve actually felt quite uncomfortable being back. it may be the new job, seeing familiar faces, but living on a pretty empty campus. who knows. i haven’t been able to articulate my feelings very well as of late. and that is one of the most frustrating things for me. more often than not i can understand how and why i feel the way i do, but this time around i just can’t pin point it. with all this in mind i want to tell you about a little trip i went on with my leadership team here at LPC…
Sojourn 2013: i went on a retreat with about 20 other student leaders. we camped right by the beach and it was by far one of my favorite college experiences. on this trip we were required to be in silence and solitude for 3 hours. whether it was praying, doing devotions, sitting in silence, or meditating on scripture, it was 3 hours for us to just spend time with the Lord. it was perfect timing for me because i’ve been feeling inadequate, insecure, afraid, anxious, uncomfortable, annoyed, angry, and i needed clarity on why i was feeling all these things once i had moved back down to school. so i went into this time saying to the Lord, “well God, i need some clarity.” if you know a little about how God works, you know He gives you much more than you ask for and sometimes even more than what you need. He gave me four words.
i had been walking along the beach and while standing next to the ocean He gave me the first word - worthy. I opened my journal and as He began to speak to me, i began to write, “Christina, you are worthy to be loved by Me. you are worthy to be loved by those around you. you are worthy to be in the leadership position that you are in. remember that.” i meditated on that for some time and 30 minutes later He gave me my second word - release. He then clearly spoke, “Christina, release your fear. release your anger, frustration, hurt, anxiousness, worry. release and be free from these things.” as another 30-45 minutes went by God gave me another word - be. He said, “be yourself Christina. be who I’ve created you to be, not the person you’ve expected yourself to become. you’ve put too much pressure to be this perfect leader, friend, girlfriend, student. stop. be you. be all that i’ve instilled in you.” i sat in that one for a while. i rested in just being for once. as i sat and read some scripture and the book i’m currently reading God gave me my fourth word - joy. this word has been used to describe me since i was born. it’s my middle name, it’s defined me, it’s who i’m expected to be. but God spoke this word over me in such a different light. He said, “have joy Christina. allow My joy to be your strength. choose joy even in the hard moments.” in a span of 2 1/2 hours the Lord spoke to me four important words. over and over again i said these words out loud, i prayed and meditated on them.
but God wasn’t done there. He is a God who took these four words and turned it into a beautiful life sustaining statement. He clearly said to me,
Christina, you are worthy enough to be loved by Me and those around me. When you remember you’re worthy you will be able to release the expectations you’ve put on yourself and the fears that have held you down. Once you have released these things, you will be able to be. Be who I’ve created you to be. Be you. All of you, good&bad. And when you be yourself you will have joy. My joy that gives you strength. These are the four words you need to live by this next school year.
i came into this silence and solitude time expecting clarity on all my confusing feelings and emotions and came out of the time with more than i could’ve asked for. i may feel a bit uncomfortable right now, but these four words give me hope. they are words that will be constant reminders that i’m supposed to be exactly where God has placed me.
i am loved. i am humbled. and i am so incredibly thankful.
he loves me for all the right reasons. he loves genuinely and selflessly.
and sometimes… just sometimes… that scares me.
i changed the name of my blog to a joyous journey, and i believe i did this because i’m finding out what it really means to have joy in the midst of the journey. this journey will never end. it is hard, cruel, sad, and at the same time beautiful, unique, precious. but whatever the journey brings i must have joy.
i’ve learned so much while being home this summer, and i know the learning will continue. but it has taught me a lot about myself, my future, my journey. the thoughts of it all made life look quite daunting. i sit in anticipation as i look forward to what the journey holds, but at the same time fear sets in and i begin to second guess myself. it’s been a beautiful experience.
what have i learned?
i’ve learned to forgive the Church. i didn’t think i needed to, but i did. especially now that i see myself being in ministry in the future. i learned to love the Church again. not for what it is for me, but for who God is and continues to be through His bride.
i’ve learned that i adore writing and i don’t need the approval of someone or for someone to tell me i’m good at it to feel like my words are worth it. they are because i write what is honest, not what someone will want to hear. with that said, i’m determined to write a book. i’m not sure what it will be about, but my words are important to me, and i see it being important for someone else as well.
i’ve learned to dream big and believe for those dreams to come true. one of those dreams include me wanting to start a youth counseling ministry in my church. i’ve seen this dream becoming more of a reality when i recently talked to my brother about it and possibly see it happening at theMovement. i fell in love with youth again while coordinating a high school missions camp last week and i want to have some part in what God wants for this next generation.
all this to say…
i believe this summer has been teaching me a lot about purpose and who i see myself to be not only now, but also in the future. it’s a scary journey. it’s a beautiful journey, but more than anything it’s a journey that i choose to have joy in. no matter what.
so, take joy in the journey God has you on.
i’m a feeler.
you know when you take those personality tests and they give you information about your personality. well, being a feeler is a huge part of my personality. i feel everything and i feel those things deeply, emotions, situations, understanding people, etc. i don’t express the feelings often, but they are present.
another part of being a feeler is the fact that my heart is very much connected to my mind. call it a girl thing, but i also think it’s a Christina thing. i feel everything going on in my mind. they aren’t separate entities, they work together or fight each other, but no matter what my mind and heart tend to always stay connected. i’d consider this a blessing and a curse. not many people can understand their feelings well, and i’m grateful that i can. other times it frustrates me how i let my feelings steer my thoughts and the way i do things. if i’m hurt and my mind processes that i’m hurt, i can’t easily shrug it off instead i feel every bit of that hurt deeply. i rarely express it to others and instead i allow it to build up inside. then it just stays there. thankfully i’m getting better at expressing my feelings, but other times i keep it to myself. and in those times i just find my heart and mind to be quite annoying.
with all that said, my mind and heart seem to be working overtime lately. i’m thinking a lot and feeling a lot. getting frustrated with myself because the two won’t stay disconnected. i sometimes wish i could process through situations and emotions without having to feel any of it. hoping the two would stay completely detached. it’s not reality for me though and the repercussions of that ends up being a very tired heart and mind.
today as i was driving i tried to be very intentional about driving in silence. i turned off the radio, rolled up the windows and just allowed myself to sit in quietness. i stopped at the beach because the ocean tends to be my quiet and calm place. i wasn’t there for more than five minutes when the Lord clearly spoke. He said, “rest your weary heart”. simple words that anyone could of told me, but from Him it meant so much more. the Lord understands the ins and outs of my personality. He understands my frustration with how my mind and heart work. He knew those were the words i needed to hear. i needed to rest my heart. a heart that feels all the things around her. a heart that feels way too many things that go on in her mind.
so today i choose rest. to rest my heart and my mind. to rest in the Father. to rest in the moments when i’m frustrated with who i am.
i rest my weary heart.
silence the noise.
have you ever had moments where so many thoughts are running through your mind you feel as if you can’t hear anything or anyone else?
well, that has been me this past week. it could be the constant checking of social media, facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, tumblr, so my mind is often distracted from reality. or it could be the fact that i’m currently sleeping on my living room couch so all i hear is everyone talking, people running up and down stairs, loud banging in the kitchen, and no place to be able to shut my own door. or it could well be the reminder of my past i’ve been struggling with this week therefore causing many insecure thoughts. to be honest, it’s probably a mix of it all that has caused all the loud noise within my own head.
it’s quite draining. in the times where all you want is silence, but you can’t really get it. sure, i could go for a walk, i could seclude myself from the world, but that would leave me with my own thoughts and as i said before, that hasn’t been working out all that well for me. if there is anything i want to be able to do it is to escape it all. my house, social media, the people asking me questions, and more than anything, my own head. i want to escape and hear the Lord.
i want to hear the Lord.
because all i’ve been hearing lately is myself. or the tv. or my phone. or people. and i’m tired. i’m tired of the constant noise. my mind has played some messed up games with me in the past and i would not like to go back there. all i want is to silence the noise, but i’m not exactly sure how to do that. of course i could close the laptop, turn off my phone, go for a walk, but then i’m left with me and to be honest, my mind is the thing i’m most afraid of.
so, what’s the response? i’m not really sure. i know the best thing i can do right now is pray. isn’t that always the best response?
i put on my bucketlist that i want to read at least three books this summer. so far on my reading list…
- Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
- The Fault in Our Stars & Looking For Alaska by John Green
- Mere Christianity & The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
- Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
if you have any of these books and wouldn’t mind be borrowing let me know! and if anyone has any other suggestions, feel free! (:
loving from a distance.
i was the girl in high school who said i’d never do long distance. which makes sense if you know me. my love language is quality time. i feel loved and feel like i’m loving others if i’m spending all my time with them and i’m with them in person. well, here i am currently doing long distance with my boyfriend. and long distance with him is very much worth it though not ideal.
my past consists of unhealthy dependency, deep attachment, loving, caring, and missing much more than the other person, there was absolutely no balance. i didn’t think those things would play so much into how i dealt with my current relationship, but it does. it does and i think it sucks. it put a fear in me that i didn’t ask for. a worry that doesn’t need to be there. i feared coming across as clingy or too attached. i worried i wouldn’t love well or i’d love more (which isn’t even possible). i thought that i was going to soon become the person i once was. i didn’t know what loving from a distance looked like.
i realized it’s okay to not know. no one is asking me to know how to do this exactly right, no one except me. i came into it thinking i’d know exactly how to do long distance well. i expected myself to handle it flawlessly because if i didn’t i failed. the thought that also stayed in the back of my mind was if i messed up, i’d ruin a good relationship. i was sitting in fear of losing him because of my clinginess or always wanting to talk to him. that shouldn’t be the case though. missing him and wanting to talk to him as much as possible isn’t a bad thing. i’ve spent practically every day with him the past four months. it’d be weird if i didn’t want to be with him or even miss him. i think i wanted to discount those feelings because it was a reflection of someone i was in the past. someone who i never wanted to be again.
i couldn’t sit in those fears anymore. i’m restored and a new person. me feeling those things are actually a reflection of my love and care for someone who is extremely important to me. a good friend had to remind me that it is worth it to allow myself to depend on someone again. it is worth it to let myself miss him and love him from a distance. that there is a tad bit of strength in admitting to feeling lost without him. when you’ve allowed someone into your heart, to not feel those things would actually be a bit prideful and heartless. i had to look at these emotions and feelings in a more positive light. they are evidence that i do love and care well. it shows that God gave me someone who is worth feeling all these things for and that won’t go in vain.
in reality i’m getting to spend almost every morning waking up to a phone call and praying with him. a short, sweet conversation that puts Jesus back into the center of who we are personally, but even more so our relationship. in reality i’m getting to send letters to someone, which i love doing. in reality we get to be apart for long amounts of time and are able to get excited when one of us visits the other person. in reality he will still love me even if i didn’t talk to him 24/7. in reality God blessed me with someone amazing. in reality there is nothing wrong with missing someone a ton. in reality this summer is going to be spent drawing myself close to my Savior and in turn will draw me closer to Donavan.
and as i prayed this morning for the Lord to help me, He clearly said, “you are going to love and you are going to love well, even if it is from a distance.”