life lately, part 4

Favorite time of the year.

I am loving the autumn colors on the trees, the beautiful sunny afternoons, and drinking hot tea in the evenings when the air is crisp and fresh.

I am needing to depend on the Lord for strength these days. Life is incredibly busy and hard; it is breaking my heart in a thousand ways and yet, in the midst of all this, there is growth and there is grace. In all of it, the Lord is near and He is good.

I am reading these articles: Do You Hate to Wait? over at Desiring God. So many important, great point about the seasons of our lives when God makes us wait. Lay Aside the Weight of Thanklessness spoke right into my soul. I find it essential to be mindful of giving thanks to the Lord in everything, as this changes my perspective and the way I look at the circumstances in my life. Enduring the Uncertainty of Dating had many good points.

I am listening to David Guzik’s teachings on 2 Corinthians. So many things there that I have needed to hear. David Crowder’s new album is out today and I cannot stop listening to Back To The Garden. Also Lift Your Head Weary Sinner is on repeat here to push me through the days.

 

I am craving sleep and all the cozy autumn flavors — apples, cinnamon, cardamom coffee. Those are my favorite things.

I am thinking about loving people when it is hard. Whether it is hard circumstances, hard people, hard feelings between us or just a hard day — loving people can be so very difficult and require so much of us. But I have been reminded again and again in this season that love is a command, and therefore my feelings or the circumstances cannot affect my love for my people.

I am hoping for long weekends and time to go by faster.

I am feeling fairly impatient every now and then — waiting on December to come, for school papers to be done, for different projects to be done. At the same time, I feel like God is bringing about new things and I am excited to see what He has in store for the future.

I am working on starting my Master’s thesis. I put my Bachelor’s thesis in a week ago, and I am continuing straight into the Master’s thesis. Let me tell you, it is all craziness over in this part of the world. But in all of it, I am learning to trust the Lord to provide — strength, endurance, rest, peace. I am learning to hope in the Lord, and to have an eternal perspective.

life lately, part 3

august16

CURRENTLY

I am loving slow mornings during the weekend in the summer. Coffee, Bible reading and other reading, sunshine warm on skin… All of it refreshes my soul so well.

I am needing to find more hours for every day. There is so much to do, so much to see with the last days of summer rolling in and seeing the beauty if our Creator right there painted into the nature.

I am reading Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar. She is one of my favorite authors and this new novel was published a couple months ago. So far it has been a great read, touching my heart and wrenching my soul just the right way. I also just started to read For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn, because there is growth that needs to happen and I have heard good things about this book. I read My Utmost For His Highest during my devotional time, and these words by Oswald Chambers keep touching my heart.

I am listening to Thy Will by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family, Lamb of God by Tenth Avenue North, and this acoustic Man of Sorrows by Hillsong.

I am wishing that these next two weeks would go by quickly but also that they would be productive, as then I will be off to the States for three weeks.

I am feeling happy and in love. Simple as that. Slightly stressed, too.

I am craving yet another iced caramel macchiato. I got hooked up on them on a recent trip to Paris. With writing my thesis desperately these days, I have been consuming quite a bit of coffee and I am needing to cut back some time soon, I know. But for now, coffee is what keeps these words pouring out.

I am thinking about the sacrificial love of Jesus, and how to better love the people God has given me. I am thinking about how love looks patience in the midst of frustration, placing others before my own wants, seeking to forgive over and over again. I am thinking about how to reach those who need Jesus desperately; how to be a light in a world that is dark but without being so bright it is blinding.

I am working on my Bachelor’s thesis, and many little projects on the side. The Lord has given me so many things right now, and I am blessed.

I am contemplating the many ideas I have, how to pursue the Lord and His purposes better through this blog and in my life.

life lately, part 2

Love the ocean

My friend, it has been a long time since I have been in this space. I come here, with a full heart and a soul that is like a canvas painted over with many glorious, brilliant colors. Since the last time, I have traveled thousands of miles, made many new friends and built those already formed, had my heart stretched and broken to make it into something more beautiful by our Creator, found gifts I did not know I had in me, failed and made many mistakes only to be set on the right course again, fallen in love, been pushed outside my comfort zone, had God’s love woven into my soul, been challenged and molded and convicted. I have grown.

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)

I look back to the last four months, knowing with certainty that my heart is not the same as it was before — and that this is a good thing. The future is unknown; the past holds the story of glorious grace and love that breaks through fears and holds together what is thought to be lost. This present moment a path never walked before, surrounded by mountains and trying to see where the road leads and whether it will get straighter, smoother, easier anytime in the future.

There are new words stirring up in my soul. There is new love being woven into my heart. This is a new season of life, one that I do not know how to prepare for, the fears coming in waves some days and yet — there is a hope glimmering in the beams of light, love being woven into a story and grace filling in for the gaps. This is a new season, an opportunity given that is purely laden with mercy. And through the hardships and hurts, there is beauty unfolding and a brilliant lightness has come to take over the dark.

“So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.” (Psalm 63:2-5)

life lately, part 1

Hello, friends! Long time no see. I made it to New Zealand and to the Bible College, after days of traveling (seriously, it takes 40 hours of traveling to get to New Zealand from Finland). It has been only a few days now, but New Zealand is incredibly beautiful. The Bible School itself is located on a ranch, so there are cows feeding and horses skipping up the hills on the backyard. There is a beautiful lake only a short walk away, making it the perfect spot to go and let your soul relax.

But for now, I am still settling in and trying to take in all the beautiful nature and great people that are here. So now, here are a few bits of y life shared with you.

Lake Tarawera

Reading now: And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers. I love everything that I have read from Francine Rivers and so I bought a few of her books at Christmas with a gift card that I got. And the Shofar Blew tells the story of a dying church that brings in a new pastor. The church starts growing and yet, not all is right with the pastor or the way the church grows. So far, it has been a good, challenging read and I am enjoying the book.

Reading next: Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. We have a women’s class on the book of James this semester, and we will be reading Hinds Feet on High Places alongside the class. Once I finish with And the Shofar Blew, I will be moving on to Sons of Encouragement, another book from Francine Rivers that I have been wanting to read for a long time.

EnjoyingThe beautiful weather in New Zealand. We had such a cold January (-27 Celsius at best) in Finland, with plenty of snow — so summer and the hot blazing sun is something very different. But the nature here is absolutely beautiful and I cannot get enough of the scenery, it is so incredibly beautiful. I am truly blessed.

Listening: to the life stories of people, the many ways God has worked in their life and in them. It always is a blessing to hear people’s testimonies, as our God works in so many different ways. To be honest, sometimes life feels so small and our souls shrink under the weight of the small life pressured to grow big — but then, these moments come when you realize that it is never about your life but all of it together, these pieces of a body put together to form that greater purpose. And there, it is okay for your life to be small — because you were never meant to be great on your own.

Prayingabout this coming semester, what I would like and expect of it, what God has purposed to happen this semester, in what ways can I and will I grow. I think great things, or great growth, will come — which is why it is on my heart to pray for an open and willing heart for this season of life.

Scripture: 2 Corinthias 12:9-10