I've been done with my Youth Encounter commitment for a week now. It's strange after signing up for an intentional community & all of a sudden being done. When you live & work that closely to others you know how things work. For instance, for the most part for the last 2 years I haven't had to make a decision on when or what I was going to eat for dinner. That's absurd when you really think about it. Now I can eat whatever I want, when ever I want & I actually find myself not having an appetite. Monday morning I woke up & my first thought was "I have to empty out my closet & dresser today." I knew I wanted to do this, but honestly who wakes up after going non-stop for 2 years & thinks that? It was good though, I got it all out, tried lots of things on & parted with many articles of clothing. I think I might still have a yaffa cube of shoes I haven't gone through yet though. It was a challenge using the rule that if I hadn't worn in the last year to get rid of it because I haven't had a good majority of my clothes with me since college. I have learned how little I can truly live off of being on a traveling team, living out of a bag or van, however one views it.
The week went by fast with a bump removal from my jaw, a hair operation (it's heaps shorter now), & a decent amount of resting. I also got to visit with some good friends I don't see all that often. I learned a new fun way to display my earrings too! My dear friend & I were hanging out & I saw this picture frame with netting behind it/attached to it & wondered where she got the idea. She had gotten the idea from another friend & promptly offered to make me one. We went to Michael's picked out a frame which was nicely on sale & then went home & cut the netting to the right size & then stapled it down. I now have a fun new display for my earrings.
After visiting her I went to visit my cousins. I had planned on going to church because I enjoy church & this might be my last weekend for a while choosing where I go to church, plus I really enjoy the community of people at their church. Well we ended up staying up quite late & I didn't think anybody was going to go. However my father woke me up with just the right amount of time to get ready & go. He kinda came & nudged me & said "Hey, are you awake? What are you doing?" I clearly wasn't awake & was sleeping, but he was awake & knew I had said I wanted to go to church.
In the midst of getting ready my cousin woke up & decided to join us, so the 3 of us trekked off to church. Today the church was finishing a series of reading from the book of Ephesians. Both of the theme verses for Youth Encounter over the last 2 years, at least for the ministries I was involved with, were based from Ephesians so I'm pretty familiar with this book. It talks about how the Christian body is meant to work together and live together. A retired pastor spoke, he preaches about once a month there, & it was great to hear how on fire & passionate he was for the message of Jesus Christ. It made me excited to know I'm going to be soon studying more about the Bible & the Christian church. It also got me thinking about how many people around the world are unaware of this message or of who Jesus is. It made me think of all the wonderful people we met this year & how we are called to live for Christ, but their ways of doing so are limited because of many things like government & family situations.
It's easy to come up with an excuse not to go to church, such as not getting enough rest, but why shouldn't we go, especially if we believe & belong to a church? God has done everything for us that we could ever need, even that which hasn't happened yet, God has already done! I can't wrap my mind around that really. I feel indebted to my family around the world that doesn't have the freedoms I do here to go to church, to learn more about the stories I've heard time & time again so that I can do what I believe we are all here to do & live for God knowing His word & His wants.