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Posts Tagged ‘explore God’

 

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of explore is: 1. A. to investigate, study, or analyze: look into. B. to become familiar with by testing or experimenting. 2. to travel over (new territory) for adventure or discovery. 3. to examine especially for diagnostic purposes. 4. to make or conduct a systematic search.

The word EXPLORE is a verb (an action word). I have decided that this is my word for 2020. My youngest, Ty, just turned 18. I have been living with Kiowa in Georgia since May (2019), but God has stripped me of some things and maybe that is because He is preparing me for more, now that my kids are grown. Moving to Georgia was definitely God’s will, but I believe that living with Kiowa was a temporary launching pad for something great. This is the year that I step out on my own and start to explore some important concepts, perceptions, traditions, and systems within myself and society as a whole. Some of the ways I will EXPLORE this year are:

  1. Community – I will be doing an internship with Koinonia Farm located in Americus, Georgia. Koinonia Farm was created in 1942 to be a demonstration plot for the Kingdom of God. It was based on the early church of Acts where everyone shared their resources and lived, worked, and worshiped as a community. Acts 2:42-47 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. The internship starts February 15th and ends May 9th. My goal is to explore what life is like in Christian community. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and build relationships that are built on the unconditional love of Christ. It’s been easy to build those relationships with my kids, but what does that look like with strangers? What does grace, mercy and love look like with people of different backgrounds, opinions, traditions, and experiences? Am I able to not just accept others for who they are, but to really love others for who they are? Am I able to love others, imperfections and all, the way that Jesus loves me? Am I willing to give up material possessions, some privacy, conveniences, and other ways of life that I am used to? Am I willing to sacrifice for the good of the community? Am I willing to put the well being of the community first? These are all questions I want to explore. I want to push myself to deepen my faith and my relationship with God through community. 
  2. Myself – I am taking time this year to find out who I am. As I peel back the layers of myself, I want to explore who I am underneath the roles I play, I have been a single mom for 19 years. I have been a friend, a family member, an employee, a woman with an anxiety disorder, diabetes and high blood pressure. Who am I underneath all these labels? Do I live my life as a result of these labels? Am I missing out on living an authentic life because I don’t know who I really am? Why do I think the way I do? Have I taken on opinions simply because I grew up that way and nothing has ever challenged my perceptions? Am I willing to open my heart and mind to different ways of thinking? Am I willing to stand up for those things that I really believe in no matter who challenges me? Am I able to define a core set of values and live by those values even in the face of opposition? Will I face challenges with courage or will I run in fear? These questions will be answered this year. I have lived in reaction to life circumstances for 49 years and it is time for me to find out who the real Patti is and start living according to my God-given identity.
  3. God – I have a good relationship with God, but the Christian life is a journey of sanctification. We strive to be like Jesus, not that we will ever arrive at perfection. I will explore God as I explore community and myself. I am looking forward to chapel services at 7:45 Monday – Friday, devotions at noon meals Monday – Friday and evening meals Tuesday – Thursdays, Sunday services mornings and evenings, and the prayer bells ringing at 10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily to remind us all to pause and worship our Savior. I am looking forward to getting away from Netflix and Hulu and focusing on seeing God in the world around me. I look forward to focusing on people and how God wants me to serve others. I am looking forward to digging into the Bible as I live out God’s will in the community around me.

For the first time in my life I will be able to explore who I am and who I am in Christ. I am nervous about this next phase of my life. I am letting go of my kids, who have been my security blankets for 26 years. I am finding the faith to depend only on a God who will never leave me nor forsake me. This year will be an adventure and I am ready. I will keep you updated as the year and internship progresses. I visit Koinonia farm February 1st – 8th and then start the internship on the 15th. It isn’t always easy when God strips you of everything. It forces you to depend solely on Him. It can leave you feeling helpless, overwhelmed and desperate. Ultimately, it brings you to this place of complete trust and peace, knowing that there are times when there is nothing you can do but trust God. If you give in and walk in His will you will begin to see that everything you thought was impossible begins to fall into place effortlessly. Being stripped of everything isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, it is God’s way of emptying us to fill us with so much more of His blessing and love. Don’t be afraid of the emptying. Be ready for the re-filling.

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