I’ve had so much coffee today that picking just one drink isn’t going to be easy.  Ok, honesty hour, I’ve had so much coffee this week  that all the drinks blend into one (no pun intended).  Yet the root of the extra caffeine is simply because my increase of coffee is making up for a decrease in sleep hours – which happens to be nineteen hours of sleep this week.  That is a new record if anyone is counting.  Thankfully homework has settled down, midterms are done for the most part, and I am ready to embark onto another week of coffee sipping and hopefully sleeping.

     Where was I? Oh right, coffee reminiscing.  Can you tell I’m still a little sleep deprived? I’m going to have to go with the new spiced pumpkin latte from Panera with my “What I’m Drinking” for the week.  Every Saturday night I swing by that bakery and this week I saw that their coffee menu had changed to include this beauty.  Guys.  It’s amazing.  And call me the typical white girl as long as you want (minus the Starbucks, more on that later) but there is nothing quite like a pumpkin coffee as you watch the leaves off your back porch.

Ah, a site of beauty. 
Would you look at that? Just look at it!

      Now onto the thoughts of my crazy, jumbled brain, if that wasn’t crazy and jumbled enough for you.  My little sister is eighteen years old, which is a fact that usually blows my mind.  It doesn’t seem that I’m old enough to have a little sister who has also crossed the bridge to the adult world. Yet, eighteen years old she is, and I’m incredibly proud of her.  It’s an incredible blessing to go to the same college as her as well – we share a professor this semester and it is exciting to know that when he talks about his ‘Freshman class,’ he’s talking about her.  

     Earlier this week she came home from classes and said that she wanted to go to Nicaragua over the winter break.  This floored me – because she’s not a super adventurous gal.  Yet she was not only wanting to go on this trip, she was excited about it.  She pulled up pictures, schedules, and sent off her request for a passport.  As I’m typing this, she just came home with her passport picture all printed and ready to go.  Her deposit was put down Tuesday.  Talk about delving into something that you are passionate and striving after a goal that you’ve selected for yourself.


     She is going to be able to expand into a better version of herself on this trip, and it all stemmed from the ability to get out of her comfort zone.  Getting out of your comfort zone is what I’m thinking about quite a bit this week.  Mady is taking a leap of faith and adventure that I wish I would have had the bravery to do in my freshman year in college.  Not that my freshman college experience was horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but it was safe. 
     Our faith life isn’t meant to be ‘safe.’ Or ‘convenient.’  Instead, it is a call to get out of our comfort zones and interact with other human beings on this road to Heaven.  It means talking to people, and being vulnerable.  It means admitting you don’t have it all together – and realizing that perfection is a goal that is only reached when Heaven is attained.

    Take a lesson this week from Miss Mady.  Side not – she also blogs, I am beyond excited to be able to follow her adventures.  Get out of your comfort zone – and apply that to faith and general life goals tat you have in mind for yourself.  You do not have to travel internationally to accomplish amazing things for Christ.  You can be His hands and feet here with your own family, campuses, friends and workplaces.

    Saint Teresa of Avila (yet another one of my favorites up in Heaven) once said, “You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.”  Don’t be afraid to ask God for something that seems out of your reach.  If it is in His plan for your life, it’s going to work out.  Awareness that the answer could be ‘Yes,’ ‘No,’ or ‘Maybe’ is also 

     I wrote about this earlier this week, but it’s still relevant.  Get into the trenches.  Get out of your   comfort zone.  Life is too short – take it from the twenty year old who is realizing that my life could be over twenty percent lived.  Honestly, who knows? It could be that my life is already ninety percent completed.  But I know this – I don’t want to look back on my life (however much of it God gives me) and think “Wow, I could have done so much more for Him if I’d only put my plan aside and let Him take over.”

Be bold.  Jump into the deep end.  Drink some coffee.  Be Not Afraid.

Get in the Trenches

Image result for pope francis quote on poor

Pope Francis is back in Rome after a much-anticipated journey to America.  While he was here, he spoke to many people who the world will recognize (President Barack Obama, members of Congress, the United Nations).  Yet the most significant part of this journey to the states was the love that Pope Francis showed the least of these.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) 

What the world needs the most?  Human connection.  We have a culture that talks itself blue in the face about love and acceptance, but inside is yearning and longing for authentic love and the ability to recognize self worth.

Human connection. It means getting out of your comfort zone and off the path defined by your own will.  It means connecting with humans – now such a crazy concept thanks to the blessing/curse of social media.  It is being Christ’s hands and feet to a world so desperate for touch and care.

We have a God who sees hearts like we see faces, a God who hears ache like we hear voices, and we have a God who touches and holds and heals our wounds like we long to be held.
(Ann Voskamp) 

How are you living your faith? Your vocation?  Our faith is not supposed to be a clean and tidy hour on Sunday morning.  It is not an accessory to put on at convenient times, and hide away when it doesn’t match the rest of your outfit.  Instead, it’s a faith that ignites our passion for others, to serve, to do things the world will look at and scoff at.

I don’t know your thoughts on Pope Francis.  I know that opinions are varied across the board and there is a constant push to politicize his comments out of context.  But I do know this.  Pope Francis knows how to practice what he preaches.  There is not a disconnect between what he says and what he does.  He tells us to love the poor…and then goes and spends time with the poor themselves.

Get in the trenches.  

Do you know why no one wants to get in the trenches with their faith?  It’s not pleasant.  It means getting yourself dirty, working with those who no one wants to even acknowledge, and pour your life blood into a mission that you may never see results from.  It’s about planting seeds that may not bloom for years and years, when no one even remembers your name.

It’s not about you.  The trenches are not an environment for self glorification.  If anything, it’s quite the opposite.  You have to make yourself small to climb down and connect with people on a personal level.

It is not enough for your faith life to post a Bible verse on Facebook once in a while.  Your faith life is a head and heart combination that should invade into every aspect of your life.  Your interactions with family, friends, classmates, co-workers…even your enemies.  We’re called to live radical lives.  So if this is your battle cry to follow the example Pope Francis is showing the world, let’s start living it.

Christ has no body but yours.  No hands, not feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.  Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.  Yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world.  Yours are the hands, yours are the feet.  Yours are the eyes.  You are his body…Christ has no body now on earth but yours.  (Saint Teresa of Avila).

I’m done with a boring life that drains the joy out of me.  

Our time on earth – yes, a blink of the eye or a speck of dust in comparison to the expansiveness of eternity – is a chance for us to connect with people here in order to spend eternity with them in Heaven.  A life that radiates so much joy that people wonder what we have that is different.  What gives us hope in a world full of so much hatred and despair.

Live your life in the trenches.