Five Things Friday // Growing with God {Meg}

One thing I became passionate about in my own life starting in college is the concept of self-feeding & my personal growth in my relationship with God.
I think so many times we fall into the dangerous trap of thinking that our growth in our knowledge of God comes primarily through other people.
God certainly uses other people to grow us – I’m well aware and well acquainted with that – but ultimately, people will disappoint you. Your friends and disciplers and Bible study leaders and [gasp!] even Cru staff members will all let you down you at some point.  It’s just true.
But guess what!? Your walk with Jesus isn’t dependent on other people.

Don’t get me wrong – community is SO valuable, and I’ll be the first in line to tell you to invest & plug in & ask for wisdom from older women & share your struggles & pray for your friends & get involved in a church & go on summer missions & pretty much anything else along those lines involving Biblical community, but community with others doesn’t come before community with God on your own. It just doesn’t compare.
A turning point in my life was learning that God created a relationship with me and it wasn’t on my own doing. Sure, he used other people to bring me to himself, but ultimately, He knows me, and He died for me, and He’s a personal God, and it’s good for me to know Him.
It’s always my hope and my dream for college women to embrace the same things. Because as a staff member wisely told me [in the context of discipleship & community, after all that!], the habits you make now – meaning in college, or whenever now is for you – will be habits you continue to hold to after college, and for decades to come.
So, in order to take a step towards equipping you women & challenging you to walk intimately with Jesus in your own personal lives, here’s five things to inspire you to begin, or grow in depth, in that journey – in no particular order:

  1. Know God more by reading His Word.  This one seems of utmost importance to me.  If you’re not sure how to do that in depth, read Jen Wilkin’s book Women of the Word.  I think sermons are awesome and I do love a good Christian book but there’s something unique & imperative about spending time primarily in God’s Wordthat is invaluable. Yes, you can learn from others, but God gave us His Word to know Him more (let that sink in)… and so do it. Passionately.
  2. Start a prayer journal.  I love the basic Moleskine or Target journal where I can fill up my pages with prayers to God.  But, I also love a structured direction with my prayer life. Consider Brooke’s prayerjournal guide she shared with us on this blog.  Also, consider investing inone of these or these.  And pray.
  3. Be willing to be sanctified {which means being made more pure, more like God}. One of the most convicting prayers in Scripture, in my mind, is the prayer in Psalm 139 – Search me, Oh God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  {Insert shocked face emoji here.} But yeah, ask the Holy Spirit to show you your grievous ways, and then be willing to pray and ask Him to grow you in that… And, eek, bigger gulp – if you are having a hard time seeing the Holy Spirit’s conviction for you there, consider asking a friend who knows you well to help you to see areas you are doing well in and an area you can grow in.  And then ask them to help you walk more like Jesus in that.
  4. Learn from others, too, but as a supplement to – and not more valuable than – God’s Word.  God uses others to teach us about Himself, which is beautiful. Don’t let that time overpower your time knowing about Him and discovering truths in scripture on your own.  But, learn from others, too.  Podcasts, books, sermons, online articles… soak their wisdom in in.  Take advantage of all that is literally at our fingertips & let other believers sharpen you, too.
  5. Be willing to be alone with God, and connect with Him in ways that are personally meaningful for you. Going on a walk, being in nature, creating art, singing, writing, cooking, running. Fill in the blank.  You do you, but do it with God.  He speaks often loudest when we’re most quiet.  Make yourself available to Him in ways that bring you life.  Be willing to be alone with Him.

Will you take one step towards this this weekend? I am going to. This afternoon. I’m going to take a stab towards walking with God in a way I’ve been abandoning on my own the past few months.  Join me.  I promise – God will use it.


Happy Friday! Stay awake. Be free. xoxo

Five Things Friday // Go Summer Missions {Meg}

Hi friends!

Happy November! Happy Friday! … Happy GOvember!

I don’t know if you’ve heard the buzz around your movement but this month is “GOvember” meaning we are praying for you and excited with you as you pray about and consider what God is going to be leading you to do on your campus, in your family, with friends, and after you graduate as you GO wherever you GO with the message of Jesus.  Maybe this means God will lead you to step out in faith in sharing your story this month with someone you know.  Maybe this means God will lead you where He wants you after you graduate. Maybe, God will lead you to go on Summer Mission with Cru this summer even if you least expect it…

I’ve heard it said by many staff and I agree with them.  I truly believe that Summer Missions are the best thing that Cru offers for students.  So, if you’re thinking about it, on the fence, or even if you have no idea what Summer Missions with Cru means… here’s my perspective on five reasons to go on Cru Summer Missions for our Five Things Friday post of the week!

1.  Why Not? Why not go with Cru this summer on a Summer Mission? You can go anywhere in the world, and practically anywhere in the US, for 2 weeks, 6 weeks, even 10 weeks to live in an authentic and Biblical community, get a job or participate in some sort of ministry full during your days, share the gospel with coworkers or new friends, and step out of your comfort zone to trust God with the unimaginable.  We call it a “spiritual greenhouse” and there’s a reason – often the growth for students’ personal relationships with God is unparalleled over summer missions than it is at any other point in the year!  So why not consider going? Why not?

2. It’s fun. Some of my favorite memories from when I went on a Summer Mission [OCMD ’09 what up] were the times when we were all sitting on the front porch of the building we shared, goofing off, or when we would go to the beach on Sunday afternoons or when we’d go get ice cream on the boardwalk after a meeting and just laugh the night away.  It was seriously SO MUCH FUN and I’m still close with many of those friends I made there… 6 years later! It’s just fun.

3.  You have 3 summers. Ish. [AmIright?] Three summers during college.  Yeah, you might want to work at a camp [they have summer missions for that] or have to get an internship [okay you can do that while going on a summer mission] and you might have to get a job [okay you can do that too] and you might want to study abroad [wait you can do that too, on mission with Cru]… I really can’t argue with your grandma if she wants you to make it to her 75th birthday party or something while you’d be in Botswana… but really, you have THREE summers during college. ONE could be spent on going on Summer Mission. What can God do in that one summer!? You’d the be the one to get to find that out…

4.  God says GO.  Not “go on Summer Mission” – you won’t find that in the Bible – although we think that’s a great option for your summer… but He says to go into the world, making disciples of all nations. [Check Matthew 28 for more on that!]  You can go in so many ways. You can make disciples at your internships. You can make disciples through your church, through your workplace, in your family… You can make disciples anywhere you are this summer. God will use you anywhere.  However, one of the long-term benefits of Summer Mission is how you will gain so much experience to know how to make disciples and to grow in your heart for the lost in such a unique environment that will set you up [we pray] for a lifetime of walking with Jesus and making disciples wherever He sends you after your years with us are up. He isn’t going to send all of you on Summer Mission this summer, and we know that.  But He is going to send some of you.  And regardless, wherever He sends each one of you, pray and consider going there intentionally.

5.  There’s a lasting legacy that comes from Summer Mission.  Whether you’re folding t-shirts in a souvenir shop on the boardwalk, investing in a local city in an urban context, hiking mountains with your coworkers, or communicating with those who don’t speak your language, God uses Summer Missions to prepare us for a lifetime of walking with Him [see #4].  Time and time again we see students’ hearts come alive to Jesus on Summer Mission, return to campus and make a significant impact there, and then graduate and go out into the world where God uses them to make an eternal impact for His Kingdom.  What will your legacy be? Do you want it to be one of knowing God more, investing in His people, and expanding His kingdom for years to come? Maybe, just maybe, He wants to start building you up in those things this summer… on Summer Mission.

Our challenge to you this week is this: Simply Pray.

Pray and ask God, “What will YOU have me do this summer?” and see where He leads you. It might be where you were expecting.  But it might not. I dare you to pray that prayer, with open hands and open minds/hearts, and listen for God’s answers.

We’re cheering for you.

Five Things Fridays {Fall Intentionality} // Meg

It feels like it’s been  f o r e v e r  since I’ve popped in on this blog! And it has! I think the last time I wrote was back in April so it’s been a solid six months. I like to join in on the {awake & free} conversations on Fridays with a little thing I call “Five Things Fridays” aka a list – sometimes short and sometimes with more explanation – of five things for your weekend ahead.  I think there’s something to be said about resting well, soaking in Jesus, and seeing the beauty He brings to this world.  Weekends can encompass all three of those things together & I love that about them. ((I mean, who doesn’t love weekends, though, am I right?!))
Without further ado… here’s this first installment in the 2015-2016 school year [Five Things Fridays] post with a little something about: FALL INTENTIONALITY!
Five things to be intentional with this fall:

Scripture. How can a young (wo)man keep her way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word. –Psalm 119:9– What does it look like to create in your schedule this fall a morning intentionality with God’s Word?  It’s a time to create new habits for the school year… it’d be a shame to leave this one out.  Use those cool mornings & crisp autumn air coming through your open windows to lean in to Jesus. The perfect fall date.

Reflection.  We will not hide them… but tell… the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that he has done –Psalm 78:4– Take time to pray, to ask God to reveal His wonders in your life to you, to begin to reflect on this past year.  Take time in the stillness to know that He’s God.  What is He teaching you? Where would you like growth? He’s worked mighty wonders.  Remember them, thank Him, & declare them.

Rest. My soul longs, yes faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. –Psalm 84:2– Our souls and our bodies are created for rest, and our hearts, for believers, sealed with the Holy Spirit, must find rest in the courts of the Lord primarily.  Nothing else satisfies us.  Rest in Him this weekend, rest in Grace;  take time to slo o o o o w down and find refuge in God alone.  Rest is good.  Sing for joy to the living God.

Friends. Who doesn’t love a good apple picking adventure or pumpkin patch or feasting around the table full of fresh fall goodness?  Even I – a spring & summer lover through and through – can appreciate the richness of fall.  And what’s the fall richness without those deepest treasures of friends nearby?  Take a risk with them. Go deep. Open up. Share your dreams. Ask those tough questions.  Forgive & give grace.  Treasure your friends.

Creating.  Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. –Genesis 2:7– What does it look like to bring beauty into your life this fall? To create where something hasn’t been created before? To hear new music, to make your own, to be inspired by the beauty around you?  Reflect God’s heart for creation in your own life – in your dorm room or simply in your mind – and join creation in giving glory to Him.

Be intentional this autumn.  I dare you.  Hugs all around & happy fall, y’all!