What Are We Doing?//Kathleen

As the new intern on the TRVA[tidewater + richmond] Cru team, I’ve come to meet many new people, discover fun things about Richmond, and learn all the lingo that I was not previously privy to. I faced numerous challenges getting to Richmond such as finding housing after my plans fell through, raising all my support, and maintaining my sanity while living at home. I thought once I finally moved, I would be in the clear, but God had some more challenges in store such as: a break-up, buying a new mattress by myself, making new friends, and a handful of other things.

No no, this isn’t a pity party. This is me gathering my thoughts and catching you up to speed. It’s so easy to get caught up in life’s messes, in the exciting things, and even in the trivial day-to-day things (aka grocery shopping always). However, I’ve been faced with a question time and time again upon arriving to Richmond:

–WHAT ARE WE DOING?–

This question comes from a new f397ea274a5a85328f0d85739cfe91371riend who is a fellow staff member. He constantly challenges us as a staff team when we are planning events, when we have conversations, even when we’re not talking at all. He has a great grasp on the eternal- the everlasting results of our work and of God’s ultimate plan.

The apostle Paul writes to us saying, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10). Paul is challenging us to truly seek from where we receive our approval. If you continue reading that passage (which I highly encourage you do so), He assures the audience that the Gospel he has been preaching is not a man-made teaching, but rather a Truth from God most high, from our Creator, our Savior.

So what are we doing? Are we toiling our time away on Instagram to receive praise? Are we watching Netflix instead of doing work? Are we choosing comfort instead of God’s plan (trust me, His plan usually isn’t all that comfortable)? Yes. I can say yes to each of these but daily, I pray and work to be able to one day say no to these. I pray that you will ask yourself these questions and ask those around you– What are we doing?

Find friends that are willing to challenge the status quo.

The friends that will choose to serve others and love tangibly.

Community that loves and encourages.

People that ask tough questions and share Truth.

What good is Christian community if we’re not discussing deeper things and sharing the grace we’ve received from the God of Grace?

 

Plants & Growth & You // Kathleen, RVA Intern

Kathleen1“Just some rocks, a layer of soil, throw the li’l guy in there, and some water and sunshine and he’ll grow just fine! Plants want to grow, you see. They are resilient and do what they have to to survive.” This is what John, the #PlantHustler, explains to everyone who asks him about the cool succulent terrariums we build.

This summer I am support raising to join the Cru movement in Richmond as an intern in the fall. Alongside that, I am working super part time with a cool guy named John who runs a local pop-up shop called “Glass Gardens.” John loves plants a whole lot and has learned so much about them in the last 5 years. He has been a source of laughter and lots of conversation these last few weeks as I’ve been going through this wonderful/draining/incredible/painful/challenging/exciting process of support raising. While I’ve been a #PlantAngel, as he calls us helpers, I have seen a lot of correlation between plants growing and our spiritual lives growing.

Rocks– Plants need a layer of rocks, something sturdy to hold them up and to help filter the water that comes through. Jesus is our Rock (Matthew 21:42). He provides the sturdiness and consistency in our lives that we so desperately need. He helps us filter the bad (thoughts, emotions, experiences, etc). He is unrelenting and never changing (Hebrews 13:8). When we try to run away or when we become distant, it’s not Him that moved, it was us. You can always go right back to Him!

­Soil– The soil provides the nutrients for the plant and provides the home for them. It holds them to the rocks. This is similar to your close community of Christian friends. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, please please find a small group this summer. It is crucial for us to have those that hold us to Jesus (like the soil keeps the plants to the rocks). Without accountability from community and strong friends to lean on, we may begin to wither. I know for me, this would often happen during the summer when I moved home and didn’t have a weekly Bible study meeting to grow in. The Lord commands us to stay in community (Hebrews 10:25, Acts 2:46). Not only does He command us to do this, but it just feels good. When you have friends to go to about your struggles or your successes, you feel that you are being bolstered by those around you.

Water– Water gives the plant life and health and sustenance. If you do not give the plant enough water, the soil gets dry and, again, he begins to wither. Water can represent our reading the Word. We often think we are fine without it. “Oh, I read the daily verse on my app, I’m good,” or “Yeah, we went through a passage in church on Sunday, really solid stuff,” or even “nahh, I don’t really have time for that.” Whatever our excuse, it’s just not worth it. One daily verse?? What if the plant got one drop of water? Or was just watered every once in a while? Or if the caretaker of the plant was like “nahh, I don’t really have time for that.” The plant would not thrive. Reading the Bible daily, asking questions, and truly desiring to understand and love God’s Word for us is crucial in our walk. Look to Joshua 1:8 and John 15:7 about the necessity and benefits of remaining in the Word.

Sunshine– Different plants need different amounts of sunshine. Some like direct light, some are okay without. Some need to be outside for LOTS of sunshine, others are okay inside. Nonetheless, the environment for the plant is key. The same is for our environment. Are you choosing to be around those that will encourage you and strengthen your Christian walk? I don’t mean during the school year, I mean right here, right now. It’s the summer time and who are some friends you can meet with during the week to encourage each other in the Word? This may seem similar to the soil aspect, as it is. But more importantly, if you surround yourself with negative people, not filled with the Light, what do you expect to happen to your soul? 1 John talks about how Jesus is the Light and how we are to walk in it. If those that you choose to be around are not adding to that light, then what are they doing? Are you shining light in their direction? Matthew 5:16 tells us to shine our light wherever we are and this is done by actions but also in simply telling people what we believe and the HOPE that we have in the Gospel!

Kathleen2

That was a whole lot. But, plants are really cool and your spiritual life is incredibly important. It needs to be nourished and taken care of. What steps can you actively take this week to freshen up and nourish your soul? Is it going to take some MiracleGro? Or maybe a rainy day of scripture reading? Call a friend and meet up for coffee and just ask each other how you guys are really doing? Whatever it takes, do that. Do that right now. Don’t let your summer be dry. Don’t return to school in the Fall wishing you had read your Bible more. Just like the #PlantHustler says, “Plants make people feel good!” Well, so does reading the Bible and being in good community.


 

blog post picHello friends! My name is Kathleen and I am a very recent graduate of Christopher Newport University. I enjoy sweet & salty snacks, listening to podcasts (Relevant & 99 Percent Invisible are two great ones!) napping, and driving with the windows down. As for post-grad plans, I am currently in the process of raising support to intern with Cru in Richmond! During this summer I am also, as I mentioned earlier, working part time with Glass Gardens which has been such a joy. More things I enjoy: Arrested Development, cozy blankets, and Justin Timberlake’s newest song!