Delight in the Lord

One of the things that I have seen as a blessing through taking this cross country season off to rest is that I have taken the opportunity to do things that I would not have done if I was training, such as staying up late. There’s no point in not taking advantage of opportunities that come up. Although it’s not what I was used to, why not enjoy the special occasions? The Bible tells us to “make the most of every opportunity” no matter what the circumstances are (Colossians 4:5). Time is something you will never get back, so why not get the most out of it?

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It has amazed me how there are always events happening here on campus. Between constant events and homework, there is rarely to never time to be bored. Some days there are so many options, it actually stresses me out that I don’t know what to choose! One night I had already had a fun day out and about and eating, but the Elam RA’s were hosting a painting night in the lobby. It didn’t start until 10 p.m., but that is something that caught my attention. By the time that I got back to the dorm, changed into my pj’s, and ready to go down to paint, it was almost 11:00, but I really wanted to do it! There were still plenty of people down there and plenty left when I was finished.

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This was one of my latest nights, but it was worth it. I got to talk with new people that I hadn’t met that were basically my neighbors. It was also great to take time to just relax and be creative. Some girls did really elaborate and impressive paintings, but others were simple. Some had words while others were just images.

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It took me a long time to decide, but I choose to make two pictures that were very relevant to where I was at in my life. The Elam residence hall theme for the year is “delight,” using Psalm 37:4, which is also one of my favorite verses. If you take it literally, it will not always come true. But God’s Word is never false, so people say. This is true. This takes a deep understanding of what a life for Christ is about. It’s like a circle of repeating events. The more that you delight in the Lord, the more that becomes what your heart desires. His joy and contentment has no comparison, and nothing else can provide it. When you find this feeling, you begin to want it more and more. Then the desire for the Lord will be filled by Him. That is what I have found in so many circumstances. When I stop focusing on controlling my circumstances and live in the moment, embracing what God has put right in front of me, I have found more joy than when I am focused on what I want to plan.

2016-09-03-23-19-07 This leads me to the second verse that I painted: “Live by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7). To follow where God leads and to see what He wants you to do requires that you have faith in what He is doing. Now that life here on campus is totally different from my routines at home, faith is something that has repeatedly come to me. Though I do not know what a day will bring, I can live in faith that God is working a good plan. When I put this trust in Him and live in the moment, I find that I am filled with joy and long for more of it.

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Elam has also done a bonfire, Bible studies, cookouts, games, decorating, Tuesday night pancakes and much more, as well as upcoming events like the Halloween Party. Hopefully I will share about some more of these soon!

Has your dorm done any fun or inspiring activities? What are some themes you see reoccurring around you lately? Consider what they may be really trying to say to you.

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The Holy Spirit knows no distance

Do you ever have that thought of “This is just what I needed”? I have been getting that a lot lately — a lot as in at least daily if not several times a day.

Not too far apart, God sent me some encouragement from some of the people closest to my heart who are actually relatively far away from me in person right now. However, that physical distance doesn’t matter. The power of prayer and the Holy Spirit have no limits.

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One Saturday morning I was out at Vaughn’s Gap watching the team do a workout, and there were butterflies everywhere! This one landed on me, so I decided to take a picture and later post it to my instagram. The verse I used was Psalm 59:16, “But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love, for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” Later in the afternoon of the day I posted it, my Dad took a screenshot, sent it to me saying, “Yesterday a butterfly that looked exactly like that landed on my chest, and I thought of you.” This was not only sweet of him, but amazing that it was the same. I believe this was a sign to the both of us that things were going well, God was watching over me and keeping me safe, no need for worries.

This verse had a continuing impact into the next day, too. One of my best friends since kindergarten and I had been talking one day, and she sent me some encouraging verses and similar things that I woke up to the next morning. (Katlyn is on the cross country team at Milligan College.) The first verse she used? Psalm 59:16. That’s when you really know that’s what God wants you to hear.

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Another awesome surprise was when I received a message from the post office that a package had arrived for me. It was from my two best friends from high school who also happened to live in my neighborhood. Chantal and Cherie are twins, so they’re basically the same person, but we all three are like the same person. They know me so well and get me the best gifts and surprises from anyone I know! I couldn’t believe that they did this for me. This was no cheap thing either, and they’re also college runners at UT Martin without jobs, too. No special occasion other than they wanted to let me know that they love me and are praying for me and to encourage me to trust God with whatever is going on in my life.
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This just made my day — so many of my favorites!
*Coffee — a mug and Starbucks card
*Peanuts — the coffee mug
*Encouragement for the process-the Peanuts coffee mug-that combined 3 in 1!
*Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie — I am an ambassador for them, too! (So if you want to check out some delicious and tasty cookies, muffins, and brownies, visit my page!)
*Protein bars — for my desserts and snacks
*Decoration — one of the simple things that makes my heart so happy; they even decorated the inside of the box with verses! A note was also included.
*Laughs — they give me tissues (usually holiday themed) to poke fun at my very loud nose blowing. I can’t help it! That’s something that became a joke on the team as people could walk in the bathroom and just hear me blowing my nose and know who was in there.

Doing little things can encourage people more than you could ever know.

What is something someone has given you, material or intangible, that has spoken to your heart?