love people.
it’s really that simple.
yeah its hard to love those who hate you or who put you down or try to make you feel like crap, but thats what we are called to do.
retaliation never got anyone anywhere.

ever get that feeling when you do something nice for someone?
no, not the feeling you get if someone notices you.
the one you get silently when you just know that you helped them and it just feels right.

thats how life is supposed to be.
we’re not supposed to only do nice things when people ask for them.
we’re not supposed to only do things for those in the worst situations (although these are the people we sadly often ignore)
no we aren’t supposed to just throw money at things or do something just to say we did

we are called to radical lives of service.
to some this may mean traveling to africa and serving orphans while you’re still practically a child yourself such as this 19 year old girl:
to some it may mean giving up a comfortable life to live with those less fortunate and live in the ultimate community trying desperately to better the lives of everyone you encounter like Shane Claiborne does…

but to others it may mean simply deciding to put others first in everything you do and to constantly be confiding in God and allowing him to guide your every step toward loving others.

for me, it has meant pouring myself into the lives of those around me to the best of my abilties (i have failed, and i hate it, but life’s a journey).
i love children.  i have a wonderful 7 year old little brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters (check it out, even if you’re in college, just meet with a child for an hour a week, its amazing the difference you can make in their lives and they can make in yours)
i love mission trips. i went to knoxville in high school to work in the projects and just love on those children.  i miss that trip. last summer i got to go to gulfport, ms and work on the areas still devastated by hurricane katrina. i plan to do this again, and go to galveston, tx.
i have never been on an international trip and i am somewhat terrified but i am going to guatemala this may to serve an orphanage for a week.
i try to tip well when i go out places.
i let people cross the crosswalk even if i’m in a hurry.
i listen to people when they need me.
i’m not trying to sound all ‘oh look at me’ i’m just trying to say that there are simple ways to live a radically different life steered by Christ.

i’m still learning how and i will continue to learn along the journey of life, yet i’ve tried to give up on making strict spreadsheet plans and just lean into God and pray and allow him to guide me.

at times this is terrifying because i like to be in control and i like to know what’s going to happen next but life is so much more fulfilling when i allow him to steer my path.  I’ve seen him work wonders in the lives of those around me and when I step back he has done the same in mine, I just have to put aside my type a personality and allow him to do so.

I have to step back and listen.
The hardest thing in the world for me

I have to simply blare my music super loud and hear him speak to me through the words of these songs.

I have to surround myself with people who are actively allowing God to do the same in their lives.

I have to take comfort in knowing that many of those people are not within close proximity to me yet they still have a deep impact on my life through the songs they get me to download (*kelsey*) or the life altering changes they make to move across the country to a place they’ve never been.

I have to look at my parents and see the changes that have been made in their lives as a result of my super strong little sister who desired to be active with Christ at a young age not simply go to church because her friends did.

I just have to look around at the puddles I get to stomp in and the grass I get to walk on and see the blessings God has placed in every facet of everything.

And I have to love people.
Actively pouring every part of me into them so that God can pour over from me to them. I cannot do this alone and I cannot do this on my own strength. I have to lean so hard into him that he just spills over.


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