College caf is my social life

When you are a student athlete, you have little time for anything else. Having a college schedule that requires physically being in class only a couple hours a day is a life-saver, but there are so many more things to do than when you were a dependent living at home and in high school. I am involved in more than just what is required and try to have time for myself as well as fun things, too. This is kind of what that looks like:  practice, class, chapel, church on Sunday nights, team Bible study on Mondays, team meetings, weight room workouts, dorm meetings, daily things like studying, packing and unpacking bags, required study hall hours at certain places within certain times, all the things that just come up like more meetings, assignments, mandatory class outings and programs to attend, doctor’s appointments, etc. Sometimes you have to go to the store to buy snacks and real food (especially if you don’t have unlimited meal plan), soap, paper, Band-Aids and things like that. With all the traffic, it takes longer to get places, requires more gas, both of which require more time. Don’t forget to take a shower, wash your face, shave, do your laundry, take out the trash, eat, sleep and call your mom. Think that sounds busy? That’s just the things we have to do. There’s also team devotional, dorm festivities, clubs, service work, personal Bible study and little projects that we all just like to do for pleasure. Nashville is a tourist city, so you have to go out and have some fun, too. It’s healthy to get out. Due to all this business, sometimes I feel like I never see any people. The days fly by, which is fun, but that can also make you feel like you don’t have interaction with the people you have come so close to! That is why those extra activities are so important. These college years are blessings from God as a time to get away from what we’ve always known and experience new things and new people. School is important, but it shouldn’t overwhelm us to the point of misery. That is why I look forward to dinner every day. Not only does the Bison Cafe have some of the best food ever, I also have an unlimited meal plan, so I can go in there as often as I want, and our team is so big, I can almost always count on someone I know being in there. To double that, the guys team are just as fun and friendly as the girls, and I need them. They eat more, and so do I. (And I’m slow.) You also aren’t allowed to take your backpack in, so that keeps you from trying to stress over homework at least for a little while.

2016-09-11-20-33-56       2016-09-11-20-33-38

Whether it is just a few or one of our big “family meals” where we have so many in there at once we pull up tables together and take up a whole section, there is no doubt there is good fellowship. We always say that we spend way too much time in there. We always end up having such a great time that we don’t want to leave! There have been nights that some of us have stayed in there talking well past closing time when there’s not even any food left.

2016-08-22-18-37-06       2016-08-24-20-40-23

I don’t think that the good feelings at the dinner table are just coincidence either. I believe that God gave us mealtime as a time to fellowship with each other, relax and appreciate what we have and the people around us. The Bible even says so.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.”  Acts 2:42

                       2016-08-29-09-55-14       2016-08-29-09-55-23

“All who believed were together and had many things in common. They were…distributing proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all people.”  Acts 2:44-47

                      2016-08-22-18-09-07

One of Jesus’s most important times was with His closest friends at a meal.
“And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body, which is given to you. Do this in remembrance of Me.'”
Food is not only good and necessary, but it is a reminder of God’s provision and ultimate sacrifice, something else we can rejoice in at mealtime!

                                     2016-08-19-13-02-41

Jesus also performed many miracles in the context of food and fellowship, such as feeding the 5,000, turning water into wine, helping the disciples catch boatloads of fish, sending manna from heaven and many more.

                                     2016-08-27-18-05-25

“So then, brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together.”  1 Corinthians 11:33

                             2016-09-04-13-40-10

“That each may eat, drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil, for this is a gift from God.”  Ecclesiastes 3:13

                                         2016-08-26-20-02-54

No matter how my day has been, I can count on the caf to bring me food that is sweet to my stomach and to my soul.

Where do you go to get away from the stress of school life? If you don’t, what could you do to have this time?

God is always at work

So many events have occured in my life to really strengthen my faith since I have come to Lipscomb. A major thing that I have seen to be so important is seeing how God is at work in any circumstance. Every moment is an opportunity; we just have to be open and willing to take part in His plan. Keeping track of these little “God moments” is a great way to have things on hand to share with others or to refer back to when in need. He brings a joy that is indescribable, so why not share it? That’s what I want to do with my writing and sharing.
journey2

Simple things that have come to me in the past month is where I will start with this first post. (I also have another blog through blogspot that I have worked with over the past several years if you would like to check that out! I am currently in a class called 21st Century Media, and our major assignment for the semester is to have a blog. The whole class is using WordPress, so this is where I will be for this semester.)

Since the beginning of training camp, a recurring theme of patience was coming to me in the verses of the day on my phone apps, having to wait on people, meals, classes to start, etc. Little did I know at the time that this was foreshadowing to this whole semester. Even a random basket of various verses on an office desk had a verse for me! “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:7  God was preparing me for having to wait on doctor’s appointments, test results and who-knows-how-long until I am cleared to run again.
2016-08-20-14-01-46

Before even officially getting started here, I had spent a couple days studying Psalm 23 to help calm my anxieties about starting a new life in college. Things were very uncertain, but “I will fear no evil” because He is with me and will “comfort me” (vs. 4). This was the first scripture passage mentioned in Chapel the first Tuesday.

More verses of the day came at just the right time. I didn’t know what the next doctor would say or what I would have to do next, which is a scary thing to anyone. However, seeing God’s word before the day begins is a great way to go into it boldly. Psalm 94:8-9 did just that.
2016-09-02-12-36-30

Difficulties can really challenge us and change us, but whether it is for better or worse is up to how we handle the situation. We have to choose whether we will turn to God to be strengthened or let Satan win the battle.  First, we have to accept that we can’t do it on our own. That’s what God wants us to learn from our trials. “He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness’…For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

A man came to training camp to do sports massages, but he also gave us help beyond the body and to the soul. With simple little note cards, he lifted my spirit (and I’m sure that of other teammates).
2016-08-19-18-20-46

There are countless “little things” that I have seen, but to sum it up for now, the big thing is people. People are everywhere. You can influence them, or they can influence you, or both. I have realized recently just how blessed I am to be surrounded with the people that I am. This team, my RA, the girls on my hall, the coaching staff, my professors and even others that I don’t personally know that well are all caring, loving and encouraging beyond what I could ever imagine. Encouragement is even still coming from those back home, too. That is the biggest thing that has shaped my heart and faith since school has started. It is an amazing journey, but struggles are sure to occur. Why go through them alone? There is always someone else there who can comfort you and/or has been through something similar. Don’t give up; look up. The Lord will provide.
2016-09-02-19-32-46 2016-09-02-18-13-092016-09-13-09-31-41

If we commit to looking for God’s work in our lives, it becomes much more evident. Ask God, humbly and honestly, to show you His will, and He will open your eyes and heart. No matter what the circumstance, there are always things to be thankful for; God is always there. Here’s a silly little example from this weekend:little-thankful

What events in your life can you change your perspective to see how God may be working for good?