Remember that whole "self-assessment" thing I blogged about last? Yah... that's still happening. No longer painful, it is a blessing, a gift, and a part of my spiritual growth wherein God is ever present in every aspect of my day. Here are a few things these last weeks have taught me.
1) Invest. I have been plagued with an unwillingness to invest. I feel like these past five and a half months have been a waste of time by my own fault. I've refused to invest in new relationships, in my church, in another church, etc. because I felt like investing would mean accepting that I live here. And I desperately did not want to accept that. I was angry that I was "stuck" in California. I lost sight of the fact that God gave me choices, and I made this one. So while my relationship with my parents has grown and flourished, I've missed out on new relationships that could have made my stay here considerably more enjoyable. I don't feel like I'll leave worse off for not investing, but I believe I could be leaving better off if I had.
2) Grace. Not to be annoyingly over spiritual, but these last few weeks have been a crash course in grace and the recognition of God's immense love for us. His grace is a gift, and the ability and strength to accept it is a gift unto itself. The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning has opened my eyes to so much about my connection to God and how easy it is to fall into the mindset of a legalist by putting on my very best Christian self and running my mouth about grace, love, freedom, redemption, but not truly understanding how it applies to my life. Ouch. I read Galatians 5:1, 4 the other day: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery... You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace." Keeping my mind focused on those last words, and the desperation of not wanting to be alienated from Christ or fall away from his grace, has made me fall prostrate before the throne of God and be fully dependent on his mercy and grace. I'm in awe...
3) Simplify. Yesterday, I woke up, went downstairs and ate breakfast, watched part of The View (yes... The View) with my mom, brewed some coffee, went upstairs and sat in my bed, in my pajamas, with my coffee (in the K2 mug I got my parents for Christmas a couple years ago, might I add), and read. I wished I was sick so I could, with good reason, stay in bed ALL day and read. June gloom has its benefits!
Ohhh there's so much more, but it would keep you reading for hours. There is so much to learn, so much to realize about the world we live in, so much to see, and so much mystery that is perfect in its mystery. I hereby dedicate the next 36 days I have left in California to learning more and investing more. So even though the first five and a half months were kind of a bust, I can make the next 36 days full of life.