Houston has taught me to be thankful. To lean on God in all moments and that when I fail, and I do plenty, to rely on Him in these times. To spend time with the ones you love and cherish the time you’ve got. Houston taught me a lot about myself and for this, I love Houston.
It’s crazy to think that in two days I will be leaving the University of Houston and on my way to a summer full of missionary intern work and missions trips and then I’ll be in Virginia… Where has time gone? First year of college under my belt and I have learned so much. I’ve met INCREDIBLE people and had so many moments of pure joy with these lovely individuals. I’ve had broken moments, sick moments, and plenty of processing moments. I’ve also had over the moon revelations from God, loads of healing within myself and my relationship with my parents, and have pages upon pages of the small gifts the Lord has given me this year.
I have only one regret: that I didn’t take the time to journal at least a few sentences a day, so as to track all God has done this year. There is much importance in remembering where He has brought you from, so that when hard times hit (or in this case, when I wish to document all that has happened) you can remind yourself of His faithfulness in all things.
There’s almost too much to write and I’ve been hesitant to write this post, for fear of forgetting anything. The major point is: without looking at a situation through the Lord’s eyes, I am quick to label something as it’s not, labeling choices and places as mistakes instead of as intentional moments God has brought me to, so as to meet incredible people and learn lessons I couldn’t learn elsewhere. There are much more smaller lessons I have learned and also some wonderful memories that I’d love to document, so without further ado, here is a (very) short list from this first year of college:
- PUT THE LORD FIRST AND FOREMOST IN ALL YOU DO. Just ask my momma what her advice for parents is and she will respond with, “Get the Holy Spirit in them as soon as possible because that’s the only thing that’ll get them through the hard times”.
- There is power in prayer and I wish to be one who ushers in a culture of prayer wherever I go. I constantly forget the power of our words and the simple fact we can speak to the God, who created the universe, whenever we so desire to. I got to spend a wonderful weekend with some amazing friends, pushing into prayer and meeting with other BSMs from around Texas within all of this. It was a much needed weekend of reflection and VISION CASTING (capitalized because that’s another thing that is SO important!!).
- Waiting with joyful expectation is an art I have yet to carry out gracefully, but I’m learning. Not just waiting, but waiting expectantly and full of joy, making sure you’re still present and joyful in the process.
- A cup of coffee and chats about Jesus are still the best medicine one could ask for. I think this will be a point that is relevant for many, many years.
- The way you spend your hour is a choice and asking yourself what the priorities are for the day, definitely helps sift through all the jumble that we rush around trying to get done.
- STOP AND SMELL THE DANG ROSES. Seriously, look around you and learn to be in the moment. Learn to be thankful for all those little things we have gotten used to and dance in this joy like nobody is watching. Life becomes fuller and more abundant when you take the time to just be thankful.
- I love my family and took the impact my parents made on who I am for granted more than I wish to think about. I am so incredibly thankful for the person I am because of who they are in my life. They are amazing and God-seeking parents and I take this all for granted that I am as blessed as I am. Don’t forget to tell your loved ones that you love them and do so often.
- Make the health thing a lifestyle and not just something you do to get results. It can be a dangerous game that leads to unhealthy mindsets. Remember that being healthy isn’t just about your body, but also about your mind as well. (Also, give this to God. He likes to have this area of your life along with all the others because HE LOVES YOU)
- I LOVE food and the company that comes with it. Jesus knew the secret to happiness: food and fellowship. It does a heart wonders, let me tell you!
- Be intentional about taking the time to bond with your roommate. A few of my favorite moments with my roommate, Jessica, were when we had movie nights for a few weeks every Wednesday. It was a good break from schoolwork and was good quality time.
- If you’re as blessed as Jeanette and Natalie and I were to have an awesome waiter who gives you suggestions of what to do on a Wednesday in Houston, then you’ll find yourself in cool places like the Centennial Gardens. I adored this time of being with them and reveling in the beauty of this little oasis in the city.
- Always be authentic, but selectively vulnerable. (Thanks Hope City for that one)
- On that note as well: GET INVOLVED IN YOUR CHURCH! You make amazing friends who are seeking after Christ and desire to see you get closer to Him amidst it all. That way when you walk into church, you also have close family from serving on whatever team you decide to join.
- Take spontaneous road trips! It’s what college is for! It was such a good time having Galveston so close to campus so as to ride the ferry and find cute coastal shops (AND TO FIND A RITA’S. Guys, Rita’s is my childhood.).
- Own less and do more. (I’M LEARNING OK, but some things like coffee stations and wall decor just can’t go in my case) But seriously, this not only saves you money, but frees up time to do things like read a book by a fountain or pack up a bag and go at a moments notice.
- Where you are is your missions field! We talked a lot about this in our prayer group on Tuesdays, but often we forget that we can be missionaries right where we are. Wake up and be intentional about the interactions you have with others.
- On that note, just be intentional about what you do. Intentional in friendships, intentional in spending, intentional with your studies, intentional in the time you spend with the Lord. Slow down my friend! There’s no need to always be running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.
There is much more and many more memories I wish to document, but alas this would then turn into a novel. So enjoy some pictures in the mean time and if you’ve gotten to the end of this post, then comment something you have learned or a fond memory you have from this (almost) year!
Love y’all lots and until next time! xoxo